Post a comment 0 Game of Thrones season 8 finale: Our watch has ended Now playing: Watch this: 6:42 Could Bran the Broken survive another season? HBO Sunday’s finale of HBO hit Game of Thrones left many fans wondering if the dragon-powered epic could really be over. While the network and just about everyone associated with the show has made it pretty clear they’re done, viewers who desperately want more (or perhaps just can’t believe the series would really end that way) can now bet on the show yet again and put their money where their hopes are. The UK’s Boyle Sports is taking bets that HBO will shock the world and announce that the battle for the Iron Throne, or what’s left of it, will continue for a ninth season. HBO did not immediately return a request for comment. TV and Movies 57 Photos Game of Thrones stars, from season 1 through today The online bookie is also offering odds on which character would most likely rule Westeros at the end of this hypothetical season nine. Interestingly, the site doesn’t seem to believe HBO would actually give us a different result as it still gives Bran “the Broken” Stark the best odds to control the seven (six?) kingdoms at the end of this next season that’s probably never going to happen. Share your voice More Thrones In what could charitably be called a long shot (or more realistically: a sucker bet), the sports book is offering 50-to-one odds that we’ll get a ninth season. Apparently, part of the rationale is the online petition calling for a do-over for the show’s final season. The Change.org petition calls on HBO to replace Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss with new writers.”All 1.3 million (and growing) people that signed the petition would be only too delighted to see a new (season) and for a different result,” Boyle Sports spokeswoman Sarah Kinsella said in statement. The major unanswered finale questions All 8 seasons ranked from worst to best 11 TV shows to watch after the finale Who won the finale? It’s complicated Tags Game of Thrones HBO
US President Donald Trump speaks about the Senate health care bill during a lunch with members of the US military in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC. Photo: AFPAn angry President Donald Trump railed Tuesday against dissenters in his party who dashed his months-long effort to dismantle his predecessor’s landmark health care law, as moderates balked at the latest Republican plan to scrap Obamacare.With several efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) now squashed, the Senate’s top Republican said he would forge ahead with what could be a last-gasp vote—on a new plan to kill off most of the 2010 reforms of Trump’s predecessor without a replacement at the ready.Four Republicans had lined up against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s earlier health overhaul, flatlining it in the chamber, where the party could afford only two defectors in order to get the measure passed.McConnell announced a fresh effort aimed at repealing Obamacare now and crafting a replacement later. But that too ran into opposition from at least three Republicans who refused to support repealing the law without a suitable fix at the ready.The Republican leader nonetheless prepared to force a vote to see where his members stood on the repeal-only measure.“That’s a vote I think we’re very likely to have in the very near future,” McConnell told reporters.No date was given, but number two Republican John Cornyn said he expected it this week.The dramatic implosion effectively means that Trump, who marks his first half-year in office Thursday, has no major legislative victory in hand, squandering months of political capital.Trump fired off a morning tweet storm complaining about how he was “let down” by Democrats “and a few Republicans” opposed to the repeal.He had campaigned relentlessly on a pledge to abolish most of the ACA, proclaiming at an October campaign rally that it would be “so easy” to immediately repeal and replace the law.But he has run into the uncompromising reality of American politics: even with a president’s party enjoying a majority in both chambers, crafting and passing landmark legislation can be perilous in the US Congress.The White House insisted that success remained within reach, with deputy spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying “we are not done with the health care battle.”But Trump said he was “disappointed,” and repeatedly offered that now it would be easier to just “let Obamacare fail.”He also stressed he wanted nothing to do with the blame for the collapse.“We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it. I can tell you the Republicans are not going to own it,” he said.“We’ll let Obamacare fail and then the Democrats are going to come to us” looking to work on a solution.‘Time to start over’McConnell’s new bid would repeal much of Obamacare outright, but with a two-year delay of implementation, in order to allow Congress time to craft a replacement.A straight repeal bill passed Congress in 2015. That was during Obama’s presidency, and Republicans knew they would pay no political price for their votes, as Obama vetoed the measure.It is no longer a dress rehearsal, and some Republicans are clearly concerned they would be on the hook for any ensuing disruption to the health care system.Two years ago, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office warned that simply repealing Obamacare would essentially kick 18 million people off health care in the first year compared to current law, a figure that would balloon to 32 million by 2026.That is far worse than the 22 million that the CBO forecast would lose coverage under the latest repeal-and-replace legislation.With a number of Senate Republican moderates voicing concern about how the latest bill could adversely impact millions of people insured through Medicaid, the health coverage program for the poor and the disabled, McConnell’s bid floundered.“I cannot vote to repeal Obamacare without a replacement plan that addresses my concerns and the needs of West Virginians,” Senator Shelley Moore Capito said in a statement.Her state has significant numbers of residents on Medicaid.Another Republican opposed to the new plan, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, acknowledged that McConnell had the nearly impossible task of coralling enough votes from his caucus’s rival conservative and moderate factions.“The majority leader is trying to keep all the frogs in the wheelbarrow, and it’s a tough job,” Murkowski said.While Democrats celebrated, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer extended an olive branch to his Republican rivals and encouraged them to work with Democrats to improve Obamacare.“It’s time to move on. It’s time to start over” on health care, he said.Meanwhile a bipartisan group of 11 governors urged the Senate to “immediately reject” the repeal-only effort and work with state executives on bettering the current system.“The best next step is for both parties to come together and do what we can all agree on: fix our unstable insurance markets,” said the governors, who included Ohio’s John Kasich, a 2016 Republican presidential hopeful, and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia.
I specialize in getting people to click on content. Whether that content is a blog post, an interactive resource or even an infographic, my aim is to get as many people as possible to click on the content, engage with it and share it.Related: How to Create Compelling Online Content That Gets TrafficMy main message here is that, generally, when you place a piece of content in strategic places online (forums/communities/social media), you increase the chance that it will be picked up by other websites. And, therefore, you increase the number of people clicking on it.In this context, I’m going to share how I gained 32,000 visitors to a website in one day using two very simple steps.Certainly, awesome infographics can get massive exposure for your website and lots of strong links for SEO purpose. But, first, let’s talk about how to strategically post your content to guarantee you the huge level of exposure I’m talking about.The content. For a client in the supplement industry, I recently created an infographic which, using a minimalist style, digs into the world’s most popular diets. Here’s a snippet:Click to Enlarge+Image Credit: Courtesy of Chris Morley DesignRelated: More Online Publishers Ought to Try A/B Testing I wanted to demonstrate the hard facts about content promotion, and prove the process, so I placed the infographic on a seeder site to which I could gain easy analytics access. I say “easy” because I own the site, Mr-Tea.co.uk.Pro Tip: When promoting content with the intention of making it “viral,” avoid making it looking too promotional. That’s why I avoided promoting this content directly on the client’s site. Instead, I used Mr-Tea.co.uk. You can view the full post here.The two-step processStep 1: The first stage of any content promotion process should include identifying a reasonably large online community likely to be interested in the piece. Reddit is an awesome place to start. If you’re unfamiliar with Reddit, it’s a free-to-use link-sharing platform built on thousands of smaller “Subreddits” dedicated to niche interests.There’s a Subreddit for everything from cycling to Game of Thrones. On the occasion I’m referencing, I posted to /r/food, as it had the highest number of active subscribers in a relevant Subreddit.Step 2: The next consideration was how to drive the right traffic to the page directly.One of the best tools for this is StumbleUpon’s Paid Discovery platform, which allows you to essentially buy relevant traffic by the thousands — and very inexpensively.The upshotI already knew the content was strong, and relevant to the community, so it was no surprise when it began gaining traction almost immediately. In fact, within a few hours, with the two steps outlined above as a starting point, I watched the post become top of the /r/food subreddit and pull in large numbers of interested people from other channels.Image Credit: Google AnalyticsWith correct email-subscription tools and sharing tools, I was able to make the most of this content and make the most of the increase in traffic.As I emphasized above, the post on Mr-Tea.co.uk was merely a test to demonstrate the power of seeding content in the right places. One instance of heavy traffic won’t rank you No. 1 in Google, or get you millions in investment. There needs to be a sustained focus on SEO and content marketing both on your site, and off it.Also, be wary of posting self-promotional things to Reddit too often. Reddit is an organic community, and if the users and moderators think they’re being marketed to, they will ban you.But in my case, the strategy worked. And, as a bonus, the infographic was also picked up by British newspaper the Daily Mail. The Daily Mail is the most visited news website in the world, so I’d call that a decent result for a few hours of strategic content promotion, right?Related: 4 Easy-to-Use Tips to Get People to Click on Your HeadlinesDo you have any content you could try this with? March 31, 2016 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 4 min read Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »
Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. In 2018, everyone seems to have a Bitcoin story. Remember that guy you read about who became a millionaire overnight? But the Bitcoin story is much more significant than this. Blockchain, the technology underlying and enabling Bitcoin, has the unique ability to change the world. Blockchain is an open, distributed database of transactions — think of it as an unhackable digital accounting book — and it has endless possibilities for making everything we do more secure, efficient and quick.Related: 4 Everyday Industries Blockchain Technology Is Changing1. Energy grids.What if you could replace America’s ancient, crumbling energy grids with automatically executing, efficient, green and affordable energy systems that could withstand the ravages of hurricanes and other climate change-triggered extreme weather events? Blockchain offers a path to that future. Already, in Brooklyn and in neighborhoods around the country, innovators are experimenting with blockchain-enabled smart grids that allow anyone with a solar panel to buy and sell energy, executed using automated “smart contracts” based on data gathered through smart meters installed in homes. All transactions all verified and secured by blockchain, and no middleman utility company is needed — cutting prices and increasing efficiency.2. Real estate.Anyone who’s ever purchased a home knows how many steps — and how much of a headache — that process entails. But blockchain offers the potential for doing the whole thing online, securely, and all at once. Sellers could securely transfer over the title and deed, while buyers would send money via cryptocurrency. Blockchain would also provide a way to send property records to the appropriate government agencies. I asked Rawad Rifai, cofounder of Taurus0x, exactly how blockchain applications impact real estate, and he responded, “Blockchain’s applications in real estate speak to the heart of the technology, its unparalleled and revolutionary potential to conduct instantaneous and completely secure transactions,” said Rifai. “There’s no reason this could not be expanded to retail, entertainment, tourism or any of our day-to-day transactions.”Related: How Blockchain Will Help Small Businesses Challenge Even the Largest Rivals3. Healthcare.Blockchain could create a future in which all our health data — doctor visit records, prescriptions, emergency room visits, shots, X-rays and insurance data — is secured and can be easily shared from doctor to doctor. Nearly everyone changes doctors throughout their lifetime. Imagine having a seamless network of secured records that would ensure that your information travels with you, from birth to end of life.This system could also save your life. Emergency room doctors could be authorized to access your information about allergies, blood type, and even genetic information, to make informed decisions about your care if you were incapacitated and unable to communicate. This system could also be revolutionary in improving health outcomes in developing countries that do not currently have a centralized or digitized health record database. Earlier this year, five healthcare groups started a pilot program surrounding blockchain and its uses in healthcare.4. Transportation.Blockchain could create the potential for the Internet of Things–enabled smart cities. Street signs, traffic lights, cars and other moving and static objects would be embedded with sensors, which would collect and send data to a system that would reroute buses, trams, emergency vehicles and other municipal vehicles to find the quickest routes and avoid traffic. The end result? Less congestion, faster commutes and lower carbon emissions. Blockchain-secured sensor data could also help drivers find open parking spots or charging terminals, pay traffic tickets, and report car crashes or maintenance issues. Related: 12 Startups Utilizing Blockchain Technology in New Ways5. Education.As demand for MOOCs and distance education grows, we need a better system to verify graduates’ educational records. Blockchain could essentially act as a notary, ensuring that people can’t forge diplomas and fool prospective employers. Transcripts, diplomas and certificates could all be secured and stored by blockchain and could be easily sent out to employers and other academic institutions. This would help boost the credentials and reputation of nontraditional educational organizations, and help employers ensure they are hiring the right person for the job. Many industries will feel the positive impact of blockchain. Some will move faster than others, but many industries will eventually need blockchain. The future is wide open, and the opportunities are endless. The most difficult part about blockchain won’t be growth; it will be human adaptation and the ability to hire great tech talent for these new companies. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global June 19, 2018 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 4 min read Register Now »