Chicago Man Gets 4 Years For Illegal Gun Sales

When people ask how criminals get their hands on guns, we know what they want to hear is a story that will justify some new gun law. At least, that’s the way things generally go in such discussion. If they’re not rabidly anti-gun, they’re hoping they’ll hear a way that will let them stop criminals from getting guns without impacting law-abiding gun owners. Unfortunately, that’s fairly rare.

Yet if people want to know how criminals get guns, they only have to look at people like this.

A Chicago man was sentenced to four and a half years in federal prison for illegally buying handguns in Indiana and selling them in the city.

Ricky Hatchet, 25, bought the guns from an unlicensed individual in a Bloomington on three separate occasions in 2015, according to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Norther District of Illinois.

Hatch, who is also known as “Rick Hatchet” and “Ricky Hatchet,” recruited someone from Indianapolis to serve as the buyer in the initial sale, prosecutors said. The seller reviewed the person’s driver’s license and listed some of her information on a purported bill of sale before selling the guns to Hatch, who paid for them in cash.

Hatch used aliases to conceal his identity in the other two transactions, prosecutors said.

After buying the guns, Hatch brought them to Chicago, prosecutors said. Chicago Police ultimately recovered five of the guns from other people.

Let’s look at how this happened. We have a straw purchase (which is illegal), false information being used on a Form 4473 (also illegal), and transporting guns across state lines for the purposes of selling them (which is, you guessed it, illegal). Pretty much every rule designed to stop this kind of behavior was broken, and this doesn’t even touch on the Illinois laws broken with these sales.

In other words, despite numerous laws designed to prevent criminals from getting their hands on firearms, they still got them.

It’s almost like gun laws don’t actually stop criminals from breaking the law to get their hands on guns. Shocking, right? It’s like you just can’t find a law-abiding criminal these days.

This is how I know the gun grabbers won’t stop until they figure out how to ban guns completely. Because that’s about the only way you’re going to stop these kinds of transactions from happening. It won’t stop criminals from getting guns, mind you, but it’ll stop this particular path for them getting guns.

The number of laws Hatch broke in this scheme tells you that so long as people can legally acquire guns, there will be people who break the law in order to get them for nefarious purposes. As we’ve seen in places like the U.K. and Australia, even gun bans don’t even stop criminals from getting the guns.

Nothing will.

Instead, it makes more sense to empower the law-abiding. Allow people to own guns, buy them as they wish, and make it too risky to engage in violent crime. If you do that, then it won’t matter if criminals have guns or not. After all, if they’re afraid to use them, it’s the same thing as them not having them in the first place.

via Bearing Arms
Chicago Man Gets 4 Years For Illegal Gun Sales

How to Build Your Own App If You Don’t Know How to Code

Illustration by Angelica Alzona / GMG

In our series Getting It, we’ll give you all you need to know to get started with and excel at a wide range of technology, both on and offline. Here, we’re walking you through the process of creating your own app by examining five software tools to get the job done.

There was a time when creating your own website, starting your own online store, or launching your own app would have required either advanced coding skills or enough money to hire someone with said skills. These days, though, enough companies have tools and business that make the process as speedy as an hour in some cases, and at minimal cost.


Sites like Wix, Weebly and Squarespace make drag-and-drop website creation a breeze, while Shopify and Woocommerce let you pop up a web store during your lunch break. Easy app creation has lagged a bit behind in this field, but that has changed dramatically over the course of the last few years. You can now use a range of sites to whip up an app in no time, without having extensive computer skills, and we’ll take a look at five of those sites below.

Of course, the kind of apps you get from these tools tend to be on the relatively simple side. You’ll still need to be able to code or hire an app-development company to create more complex apps and games. But for simple form- or information-based apps, these services will do just fine. Specifically, you’ll be able to create an app that might not make you millions, but they will add value to existing businesses or websites. If you have a content-based site or an online store, for example, you can create an app that lets people shop more easily or sort through your articles with a press of the screen.

Getting Started

Before we get on to comparing the services you can use to create your own app, you’ll need credentials as an app publisher, so that you can distribute and/or sell your creations.


To be able to distribute apps made for Android through the Google Play store, you need to sign in here with your Google account, accept the terms and pay a $25 registration fee. To become an app seller for the iOS platform through the iTunes store, you’ll need to head here, pay a $99 annual fee and sign in using your Apple credentials. After those initial fees, both Google and Apple take 30 percent of sales once your app is published.

Five App Development Platforms

AppyPie. The tagline for this web-based app builder is: “Make an app, easy as pie.” Say what you will about the slogan, but it’s accurate; you really can whip up an app on this site without too many clicks, or design knowledge. You start by choosing your app’s category, and then a basic layout. Then, by clicking through a demo of the app on a sample on-screen phone, you can adjust text, and add pages, colors, photos, media, links and more. You have pretty robust control over the flow and architecture of the app, and the site is extremely responsive.


Pricing ranges from a free plan that embeds AppyPie advertising in your app and only lets you tweak your creation for 48 hours, to $15, $30 and $50 monthly plans that offer unlimited app editing and stepped-up platform distribution. The $15 plan, for instance, allows you to build apps for Android only, while the $50 plan will cover all the major platforms including Microsoft and Apple.

AppMakr. With a decidedly less-slick interface than AppyPie, AppMakr is nonetheless easy to use. It excels in making icon-based apps. Just like AppyPie, you’re given a mock-up of a smartphone and you’re able to drag icons directly onto its face from a menu of choices at the right. Unlike AppyPie however, apps built through this tool are better at linking to content rather than providing native content. Drag the “blog” icon over for example, and you’ll be asked to enter your blog’s RSS feed address. Same for the “news” function. But if you have an existing blog or website, this provides an easy way to take it mobile. You can also change the look of each icon and customize the background image. Changes to architecture, however, aren’t as robust as they are with AppyPie.


Using the free version of AppMakr will let you create an ad-free mobile website. Two dollars per month lets you develop an Android-only app with AppMakr branding; $39 per month lets you create up to ten Android apps with no branding and lets you publish your app wherever you’d like, as you get the source code; and $99 per year lets you publish an Android app in the Google Play store or an iOS app on iTunes with no branding.

AppInstitute. This is another extremely user-friendly online app builder. One differentiating factor is that when you begin your app-building process on this site, you’ll be asked to choose a template based on your goals, such as: “Sell Stuff,” “Get Bookings” or “Earn Loyalty.” After clicking on the tab that best represents your needs, you can further hone your app by choosing the proper category such as “church,” “coffee shop,” or “good cause.”


Another unique feature of AppInstitute is that after you choose your basic template, you can enter your phone number and you’ll be instantly sent a link to your pre-made app. Of course, you’ll want to spend some time making it your own, but it’s a fun feature to get the instant gratification of a working app in seconds. (Of course, it’s also a clever way by which AppInstitute gets ahold of your phone number.)

While AppInstitute is generally well-regarded, in our testing we did find that it was slow to respond, often glitchy and a bit counterintuitive in terms of customizing your app. Still, there are good videos and a live chat service that can help you get rolling fairly quickly.

This service is also by far the most expensive we tested, with monthly plans ranging from $40 to $115 per month. In order to publish an Android-friendly app, you’ll need to shell out $70 per month, with the $115 price point gaining you access to an iOS version of your app as well.

GoodBarber. Despite its strange name, GoodBarber is a solid choice for online app building. It puts the smartphone mock-up front and center in its design ontology, so you can click through the app as if it were live and see your changes take effect immediately. While this makes understanding the logic of your app quite easy, it makes designing it a little more difficult.


Say you wanted to change a block of text in the app. It would make sense that all you would need to do would be to click on it. This, however, doesn’t work. Because the app is “live,” clicking on anything takes you to the relevant section of the app. To make changes to sections, you need to use the navigation tools at the right which break the design process into different chunks such as menus, icons and sections. This takes a little getting used to, and requires more clicking around than the other apps mentioned here, but once you get the hang of it, the level of customization possible is truly impressive.

GoodBarber also offers app checking tools, so that before you are ready to publish an Android version of your app for instance, it would give you a checklist of completed items and those that still need to be fixed (such as naming your app). The site offers a 30-day trial after which it costs $32 per month for an Android app and $96 per month for Android and iOS.

GameSalad. While information-based apps can help add value to your business, games offer you a chance to create an app that truly holds the potential to earn money. A quick look at the top-grossing iOS apps on website AppAnnie, shows that over half are games, with other top spots largely occupied by free entertainment and social media apps like Hulu, Netflix and Facebook.


If you want to make your own game and try to sell it through iTunes or Google Play, GameSalad offers a great way to give it a go. Unlike the other app creators in this list, GameSalad consists of software you need to download to your desktop. The company says that you could create a game in as little time as an hour, but in reality, it will take a bit longer—even if you start with one of their pre-made but customizable games. The software isn’t quite drag and drop, so you’ll want to spend some time going through the video tutorials to get a hang for the system.

When you are ready to publish your game, a fee of $29 per month will get the job done and let you publish to all the major platforms including Android and iOS.

via Lifehacker
How to Build Your Own App If You Don’t Know How to Code

The Complete Guide to Pocket Knives

I don’t collect too many things, but I do enjoy collecting pocket knives.

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been fascinated by them. I loved rummaging through my dad’s treasure box and looking at his collection, dreaming about the day I’d own a knife of my own. That day came on Christmas when I was seven years old. In my stocking was a Boy Scout camper’s knife, the kind that had a blade and a can opener. I carried that thing with me as much as I could. My fascination with knives continues today; I love seeing what knives other men carry and checking Huckberry to see what new blades they’ve got in stock.

When I’ve talked to other men about pocket knives, they’ve shared this same fascination. What’s the appeal? For me, pocket knives are the apotheosis of form and function. They’re both aesthetically pleasing and extremely useful.

I love the look and feel of an old Case pocket knife with its handsome faux bone handle. Even the simple design of the Swiss Army knife evinces a distinct charm.

But what I like most about pocket knives is how damn handy they are. I just feel more ready to take on the world when I’ve got a knife in my pocket. And there’s something satisfying about whipping out your blade when someone asks “Anybody got a knife on them?”

Despite being an admirer and collector of pocket knives, I didn’t know much about them. How does the blade stay open when I’m using a knife? Why are there different blade shapes in my trapper knife? I wanted to move beyond simply thinking pocket knives were cool to really understanding their features and inner workings, so I set out on a research project. 

If you find yourself in the same boat, here’s what I learned about these incredibly useful everyday carry tools. 

Types of Pocket Knives

There are many different kinds of pocket knives and below we describe all the major types, as well as offer a little history as to how they came to be. Note that we mention various types of blades throughout; if you don’t know what a particular blade is, don’t worry, we’ll cover those in the next section.

Proto-Pocket Knives and the Peasant Knife

Pocket knives have been around a surprisingly long time. Well, technically these first versions weren’t actually pocket knives because pockets didn’t become a thing until the 17th century. These proto-pocket knives were small and folded which made for safe and easy carrying. Blades were made from iron or bronze and handles were made from bone or wood. A bone handle folding knife dating from 600BC has been found in Austria while several pre-Roman folding knives have been found in Spain.

Unlike modern pocket knives, the blades of these ancient precursors didn’t lock in place. They merely swiveled on a pivot. Keeping the blade open required the handler to hold the blade with the tang. It was a lot like holding a modern straight razor.

While small folding knives existed thousands of years ago, the difficultly of producing iron made them expensive and hard to come by, precluding their becoming a common EDC item for our ancient ancestors. It wouldn’t be until the 1650s that the folding knife would become a ubiquitous tool. Around that time, Sheffield, England became the cutlery center of the world. Thanks to improvements in smelting technology, knives could be mass-produced on the cheap. One popular design was a simple folding knife with a wooden handle that farmers, herdsmen, and gardeners used. Because of the class of people who used this knife design, it became known as the peasant knife. It was also known as the penny knife because of its low price.

Like ancient proto-pocket knives, the peasant knife had no locking mechanism. To keep the blade in place, the tang of the blade would fold back into the handle, and the user would hold both the tang and the handle together. Some peasant knives just relied on the friction between the blade and the handle to keep the blade in place. The famous Opinel knife is like this.

While this set-up worked for light knife work, the chances of the blade slipping and folding back in on one’s fingers increased as the work became heavier.

Keeping the Blade Open: The Slip Joint Knife

Recognizing the danger of relying solely on friction to keep the pocket knife’s blade open, cutlers in England began experimenting with modifications that would lock the blade in place while in use and keep it closed when it wasn’t. Around 1660, folding knives with a slip joint began making an appearance.

While it appears a slip joint knife locks the blade in place when open, it doesn’t. The blade is in fact held in place by tension. Here’s how it works:

On one side of the handle, you’ve got your blade that pivots around a joint. On the other side of the handle, there’s a flat bar called a backspring. When you rotate the blade open, the blade’s tang rotates against the backspring. The pressure of the backspring against the metal keeps the knife open.

The slip joint knife became the go-to mechanism for keeping the blade of a folding knife open, and several popular pocket knife designs use it. The very first pocket knife you ever got was likely made with a slip joint, and you probably still own a slip joint knife, or three, today. Let’s take a look at a bunch of different knives within this category: 


The barlow was created in England by a guy whose last name was, you guessed it, Barlow. The design features an elongated oval handle and typically a clip point and pen blade.

While the barlow was invented in England, it became a favorite pocket knife in the United States. According to Mike Yarbrough, the author of The Guy’s Guide to Pocket Knives, George Washington’s mother supposedly gifted her young son with a barlow for good behavior.

Click here to see examples of barlow knives. 


If you were ever a Boy Scout, you’ve likely owned a camper knife. Besides having different types of blades, camper knives also have various tools that could come in handy while spending time in the great outdoors: a can opener, scissors, screwdriver, etc. Also called a multi-tool knife. The Swiss Army knife is the most iconic of this type of pocket knife.


The canoe knife gets its name because it looks sort of like a canoe. It typically has two different blades. The most common combination is a drop point blade paired with a pen blade.

Click here to see examples of canoe knives. 


The congress is a classic slip joint pocket knife that sports four blades — most typically the spear point, sheepsfoot, coping, and pen blades. Abe Lincoln carried a congress with him back in his rail-splitting days.

The congress supposedly got its name because all the blades form a congress, i.e., they all come together in the middle of the knife when closed.

Click here to see examples of congress knives. 


The peanut gets its name from its small size. This knife usually has two blades: a clip point and drop point on the same end.

Click here to see examples of peanut knives. 


Back when people wrote with quill pens, one had to create a point on their quill before writing. To facilitate this delicate work, cutlers developed specialty pen blades. These pen knives originally had a fixed blade, but to make things even more convenient for the gentleman scholar, a folding pen knife was developed, so he’d always be ready to write when inspiration struck.  

In British English, pen knife is the word for any kind of multi-bladed knife or tool. But a traditional pen knife is a small pocket knife with two blades pivoting on opposite ends, with one of them being the traditional small pen blade. It has a low profile and doesn’t stick out when in your pocket, making it an ideal pocket knife to carry when wearing a suit.

Click here to see an example of a pen knife. 


A working man’s pocket knife with a single blade. Its affordable price makes it a great “beater” knife. Consider it the modern-day peasant knife.

Click here to see examples of sodbuster knives. 


Supposedly developed for cowboys and other herdsmen, the stockman is an American classic and includes three blades: clip point, sheepsfoot, and spey. If your grandfather or father gifted you a pocket knife, chances are it was a stockman.

Click here to see examples of stockman knives. 


The trapper was developed for, well, trappers. It has two blades that trappers would find handy while skinning hides: clip point and spey. These two blades hinge on the same side. The AoM Pocket Knife is a trapper. 

Click here to see more examples of trapper knives. 

Really Making Sure That Blade Doesn’t Close on Your Fingers: The Locking Blade

While the slip joint knife reduces the chance of a blade folding back up on you while in use, it doesn’t eliminate the risk. Around the same time that cutlers were developing the slip joint knife, they were also experimenting with lock blade folding knives. The first folding knife with a locking blade was invented in Spain in the 1600s, but it would take over 300 years for the lock blade pocket knife to become a standard fixture in the world of cutting tools.

For the eventual spread of this type of knife, we have a fella by the name of Al Buck to thank. Al owned a knife company with his father, Hoyt. During WWII, H.H. Buck and Son made fixed blade knives for American GIs. When these soldiers returned home, they went to Buck for their civilian use knives. Since civilians don’t have much need for a giant fixed blade knife on a regular basis, Al began developing a folding pocket knife that provided the stability and security of a fixed blade knife. In 1964, he introduced the world to a legend: the Buck 110 Folding Hunter locking blade knife. Also known as the Buck knife.

Like a slip joint knife, a locking blade knife has a strong backspring located along the back of the knife. But here’s the difference: on a locking blade knife, the backspring has a small hook that snaps into a corresponding notch in the blade’s heel when the blade is fully open. That locks the blade in place. To release the backspring’s hook from the blade’s heel notch, you have to apply pressure to the spring located near the end of the knife handle.

Because the Buck company never patented its knife innovation, companies around the world began to implement the design in their own folding knives.

My favorite locking blade knife is one from Santa Fe Stoneworks. It’s got dinosaur bone in the handle. How cool is that?

A Pocket Knife Fit for a Warrior: The Tactical Folding Knife

Knives are standard issue to soldiers around the world. However, when a recruit is outfitted and equipped, he’s usually given a fixed blade knife instead of a pocket knife. When you’re out on the battlefield, you can simply draw your fixed blade knife, and you’re ready for action. To ready a folding pocket knife, however, you’ve got to stick your fingernail in the nail nick of the blade while you hold it in your other hand. Since you have to use both of your hands to open the blade, pocket knives just aren’t very handy in a do-or-die situation.

To remedy this issue, knife manufacturers put a thumb stud on the blade that allows the user to open it with one hand. Instead of a thumb stud, Spyderco put a large thumb hole in the blade. To open the blade, you press the pad of your thumb into the hole and rotate it open.

Besides making the blade easier to open, knife companies made tactical folding knifes easier to get to by putting a clip on the handle. (Spyderco claims to have been the first to do that.) Instead of burying your hands in your pockets and digging around until you find your knife, a tactical folder clips to your pocket, giving you quick and immediate access to your knife.

Additionally, tactical folding knives have blades that come in handy in tactical situations. Besides being sharp and clipped, the blade will usually also have a serrated edge that can be put to use in cutting through tough material.

Click here to see more examples of tactical folding knives. 

Types of Blades

Throughout this article, we’ve referred to different types of blades. If you’re a knife veteran you probably just nodded your head and continued reading. If you’re a neophyte, you probably scratched your head and felt puzzled. For the benefit of the latter, here’s a quick rundown of the types of blades you’ll find on most pocket knives and their respective uses:

Clip Point

The clip point is one of the most common blades you’ll see on pocket knives. It’s called a clip point because the final third of the back of the blade is “clipped.” The clip can be either straight or concave.

The clip point has a sharp, controllable tip that’s good for piercing. It also has lots of “belly,” or cutting edge. The disadvantage of the clip point is the tip isn’t very strong because it’s so narrow.

Drop Point

A drop point blade has a straight spine until it gets near the tip. As you get closer to the tip, the spine slopes down to meet with the bottom of the blade at a sharp point.

Drop point blades handle almost exactly like a clip point. The significant advantage of the former is that the tip is stronger than the latter because it has a broader point.

Pen Blade

While we no longer have to sharpen quills, many multiple-blade pocket knives still include a pen blade in the mix. It’s a small blade, and not very sharp, but comes in handy for tasks that require delicate work.


The sheepsfoot blade was designed to help shepherds trim the hooves of sheep. It has a straight dull back that curves towards the edge of the tip. The cutting edge of the blade is straight and provides a large cutting surface. While I’m sure there’s still some shepherds out there using this blade for its original purpose, it’s become a popular blade among whittlers.

Spey Blade

You’ll find the spey blade on stockman and trapper folding knives. It was originally designed to help castrate and spay herd animals. Somehow “spay” got turned into “spey.” At least that’s how the story goes.

The spey blade has a single sharp straight edge that curves upwards to meet a short, dull point. Spey blades can either be long or short. On trappers they tend to be long; on stockman knives, they tend to be short.

Tanto Point

A knifepoint popularized in Japan and seen on many tactical folding knives. They’re thicker than most pocket knife blades and have a very angular point. These features make it useful for stabbing and piercing materials like Kevlar and metal.

Wharncliffe Blade

Wharncliffe blades aren’t very common, but you’ll still see them in some pocket knives. It looks very similar to sheepsfoot, but the spine meets the edge of the blade at a sharp point. It’s a popular blade among sailors.

Picking a Pocket Knife

Picking a pocket knife is like choosing clothes. It comes down to your personal needs and tastes. If you’re someone who’s doing heavy duty work day in and day out and need a knife that you can open quickly, a tactical folding knife would be in order. If you just need a knife to open the occasional package or letter, a classy looking pen knife will do the trick.

Personally, I have a large collection of pocket knives that I choose from each day. I’ve got my favorites, but they all get rotated into my EDC at least once a month. If I plan on doing a lot of heavy work that day, I clip my tactical folder in my pocket. If it’s going to be an average day, I’ll carry one of the many slip joint or locking blade knives that I have. I even have vintage ones from my dad and grandpa that I like to carry now and then. (Want to restore a vintage knife that’s been passed down to you, or one that you found at an antique store? Here’s how to do it.

Pocket Knife Laws

In the United States, very few laws regulate what pocket knives can be owned and how they can be carried. Switchblade knives are prohibited from interstate shipment and sale, so if you’re Johnny Cade, you’re out of luck. Many states have also banned butterfly knives and gravity knives from being sold, carried, and or even owned. Ten-year-old Brett thought that was a raw deal. What I would have given to have a sweet butterfly knife. I would have kept in the back pocket of my acid washed Bugle Boy jeans and worn a cool bandana around my head. Maybe even worn some leather gloves with the fingers cut off. I would have been the biggest little badass in Danforth Farms.

Yeah . . . that would have been sweet.

Anyhow, as long you as stick to your traditional pocket knife or tactical folder, you shouldn’t have much of an issue carrying a knife in the United States. Just make sure to leave your knife at home or in the car when you visit a federal or state courthouse and put it in your checked bag when flying.

For our brethren living in the U.K. and other European countries, the legality of carrying a pocket knife is much more limited. In the UK it is illegal to carry a folding knife with a blade longer than 3″. If you’ve got a knife with a longer blade, you’ve got to prove “good reason” to carry it with you in public. “Good reason” could mean the knife is required for employment or a hobby. Even if your blade is shorter than 3″, you can only carry that knife with you if it doesn’t lock. So toting a handsome Buck knife would be out of the questions for Brits.

What to Do With Your Pocket Knife

Over the years at AoM, we’ve provided a few ideas on what you can do with your pocket knife. Here’s a recap of some of that content:

Why Every Man Should Carry a Pocket Knife

How to Play Mumbley Peg

How to Whittle 

Now you know a little more about the pocket knives you’ve long admired. Keep on toting one with you every day, and be sure to keep it sharp.



The Pocket Knife Buyer’s Guide

The Guy’s Guide to Pocket Knives

A Pocket Guide to Selecting the Perfect Knife

The post The Complete Guide to Pocket Knives appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

via The Art of Manliness
The Complete Guide to Pocket Knives

Every Netflix User Needs to Bookmark This Catalog Tracker

Flixable has become the best way to browse the Netflix catalog.

Netflix has never made it easy to find stuff to watch. Considering how much data the company has about its users, the recommendations it throws out are disappointingly unimaginative and repetitive. It’s a shame because the amount of content on the service is mind-blowing. One only needs to look at some of the gems lurking behind the secret codes.

Several sites have tried to provide a better way to search the catalog, but Flixable’s beauty is in its simplicity.

Every Netflix User Needs to Bookmark This Catalog Tracker flixable filter 670x190

Use the tab to flick between movies and TV shows. Below the tab are the simple-but-effective filters. You can search by genre and IMDb rating and can order the results in various ways. It also offers a sliding bar for the release date. For example, you could choose to find movies that hit cinemas between 1966 and 1971.

Every Netflix User Needs to Bookmark This Catalog Tracker leaving netflix

At the top of the page, you can click on Leaving to find shows and movies which Netflix will soon remove from its catalog. It’s always worth keeping an eye on here, Netflix removes content on a near-daily basis, and you don’t want to miss out on something entertaining.

There’s also a tab for Netflix originals and content that’s currently popular.

At the time of writing, Flixable only works in the US, UK, Canada, The Netherlands, and Finland.

Has Flixable become an essential part of your movie-watching repertoire? Let us know in the comments below.

Image Credit: Mactrunk/Depositphotos

Every Netflix User Needs to Bookmark This Catalog Tracker

The Ruger Precision Rimfire at the 2018 SHOT Show

The Ruger Precision Rimfire at the 2018 SHOT Show

via All Outdoor
The Ruger Precision Rimfire at the 2018 SHOT Show

Dorm Room Fund has built a CRM for founders raising a seed round

First Round Capital’s Dorm Room Fund just released VCWiz, a tool to help founders find investors and raise money from them.

The platform is one part VC directory and one part CRM tool, essentially letting you find the best investors for your startup then begin the process of reaching out to them.

New users input some basic information about their startup including a description, industry and preferred location of investors. This data is used to recommend some initial firms, but of course you can browse and find your own too.

Founders can see all of a firm’s recent investments, common co-investors, preferred industries, deals to date and even background information on all the firm’s partners. You can also see reviews of each investor that were written anonymously by founders and provided by VC review tool Know Your VC.

The CRM aspect lets you add flag investors and move them from stage to stage of fundraising – like “in talks”, passed or committed. There’s also an option to connect the tool to your Gmail inbox or BCC the tool your emails so you can pull in emails with investors and track them all in one place.

If requested VCWiz can also send an introduction email to the partner on your behalf if you don’t know anyone who can introduce you.  Rei Wang, Director of Dorm Room Fund explained that connecting first-time founders without their own connections to the right investors was originally one of the main reasons the firm set out to build this tool.

The tool pulls in its information from a variety of sources including Crunchbase, PitchBook, Twitter and others. It also uses basic machine learning to recommend investors depending on your bio and preferred industries. The tool was built by First Round Capital’s Yasyf Mohamedali as part of his master’s thesis at MIT.

via TechCrunch
Dorm Room Fund has built a CRM for founders raising a seed round

Learning Knife Sharpening

One of our favorite food geeks, Alex of French Guy Cooking, is at it again. This time, he breaks down the process of knife-sharping and looks at the tools involved, the physics involved, and he even does a little kitchen hack to create a stop for his whetstone on his sink divider.

As is often the case, there are some useful comments. In the video, Alex sharpens at a 15-degree angle. One of his viewers, vinny142, writes:

That 15 degrees is not critical, in fact, there are different angles for different kinds of knives. Filet knives have a 10 degree angle, general kitchen knives 20 degrees. Some chefs even have a personal preference that “just works” for them. Also, this was sharpening: the act of making sharp. Not to be confused with honing, the business with the big iron stick that you see butchers using all of the time in movies. Remember, the really thin edge that Alex mentioned, that curled over? He doesn’t polish it away completely, in fact that very thin edge is what does the cutting, and as you cut, you push that thin edge from side to side and it gets bent all over the place. Honing the blade against a honing steel straightens the sharp edge so it aligns with the direction of cutting again. If your knife doesn’t cut properly, don’t sharpen it, hone it first. If that doesn’t help, then you can sharpen.

via MAKE Magazine
Learning Knife Sharpening

Even Burger King Is Roasting Ajit Pai Over Net Neutrality Repeal

Image: Burger King

The only face that might be creepier than FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s stupid mug is the eternally frozen and smiling visage of the Burger King mascot. Now the fast food franchise is taking shots at Pai’s decision to repeal net neutrality as well as his literal giant coffee mug.

The thing about politics is that brands don’t like to publicly take sides on an issue. Politicians have to do something really nonsensical and unpopular for brands to get involved because they don’t want to risk alienating a portion of their customers. Most Americans support net neutrality because most understand that it’s not a good idea to allow telecoms to pick and choose the content they might want to block or throttle. And if they don’t understand it at first, they tend to do so once they get a little information. As the net neutrality news saturation picked up in early December, just before the Federal Communications Commission’s Republican majority voted to repeal net neutrality protections, one poll found that 80 percent of Americans support maintaining Title II protections. That figure includes three out of four Republicans. This is an easy bipartisan issue.


To make its position clear on net neutrality, Burger King filmed a stunt in which it educated “the public” on net neutrality using the Whopper as a metaphor for online content. Yes, the customers just learning about the subject are probably actors, and yes this promotes a fast food chain, but hey, when they’re right, they’re right.

The metaphor of having to pay wildly different prices and endure various inconveniences to get the same burger as everyone else is a perfectly fine illustration of the hellscape that the internet could inevitably become if it’s not protected. If you need an explainer for a friend, here it is, flame broiled. If you don’t, we can all just enjoy the King making fun of Pai’s ludicrous Reese’s mug and remember the times that he’s made a fool of himself without needing anyone else’s help.


via Gizmodo
Even Burger King Is Roasting Ajit Pai Over Net Neutrality Repeal