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ND alum launches social media app

first_imgA Notre Dame alumnus is trying to transform social media by introducing forward-oriented timelines that enable users to connect with other users based on their future locations and travel plans.Andrew McGill, a 2007 graduate, is the co-founder and chief executive officer of Flypside. The smartphone application allows users to create a new form of a post, called a Flyp, which communicates where a user will be in the future, how long his or her trip will be and what he or she is interested in doing while there. After creating a Flyp, McGill said, users can view and connect with friends, friends of friends and others with similar interests who will be at the same location at the same time. They can also find events, promotions and activities that will be occurring while they are at a specified destination.Susan Zhu “We wanted to create a platform for people in motion to connect with each other ahead of time and find cool events that match the user’s interests,” McGill said. “Flypside is the ultimate social planning tool, as it relates specifically to your future.”McGill said the application also transforms the nature of a tag and hashtag in social media by enabling users to now communicate future identity, interests or intent. “You can assign a #hostelname to a Flyp, then select it to see who is staying at your hostel. If you plan to go surfing while on spring break, add #surfing to your Flyp to view other people interested in surfing who are also there,” he said. “You can even enter and then select ‘University of Notre Dame’ from your profile to see if there are other Notre Dame students crossing your path on spring break or during your summer travels. The [uses] are endless.”McGill said he was inspired to create Flypside through his international travels. After seven years as a gasoline trader at BP, McGill completed an around-the-world tour that included South America, Australia, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean.“This made me notice two main points related to being in motion: the ‘who’ and the ‘what,’” he said.The ‘who’ can range from meeting up with close friends or acquaintances, to strangers who share similar interests, McGill said, while the ‘what’ is the events, promotions and activities taking place at a certain location.“Like Yelp filters restaurants based on a user’s interests, we want to sort and publicize people, events and promotions related to each of our user’s future location based calendars,” he said.While Flypside’s versatility and practicality make it useful for a very broad audience, McGill said the initial target demographic is the Millennial generation, particularly college students and frequent travelers.“When I was at Notre Dame, I studied abroad in London and thus know how beneficial Flypside will be for college students who are traveling,” he said.McGill said privacy, a concern for most big social media and tech company’s today, is one of the company’s key priorities.“Flypside is making sure to create privacy barriers that users can easily control,” he said. “In order to prevent harassment, users cannot send more than one introductory message to other users, which is similar to a Facebook friend request accompanied by an introductory text.”McGill said Flypside is still in its early launch stages, but has already released an application for iPhone and Android platforms. In order to make Flypside a successful company, McGill said he has worked carefully to create a great team around him, including both employees and advisors.“Good team members must, one, believe in the idea, two, believe in you and three, have the skills and resources to help,” McGill said. Aiming to boost growth, McGill said, the Flypside team is now putting their collective efforts into user acquisition and the creation of strategic partnerships.“Friends and mentors can sometimes get you in the door, but after that you really have to sell and prove yourself,” he said.Additionally, McGill said the Notre Dame community has been supportive and helpful, especially as the University looks to bolster its presence in Silicon Valley through the California Initiative.Mike Ferrigno, president of Notre Dame’s MBA Entrepreneurship Club, said Flypside is an excellent example of how Notre Dame is fostering entrepreneurship.“I am excited to see more Notre Dame startups developing as Notre Dame increases their presence in Silicon Valley,” Ferringno said. “Andrew’s passion for getting the Notre Dame community involved with Flypside is very encouraging for the program.”Flypside represents an exciting opportunity for college students to connect with a new form of social media, McGill said, and he hopes the Notre Dame community will take advantage of it. Tags: Andrew McGill, app, California initiative, Flypside, social medialast_img read more

Smallville star Allison Mack pleads guilty to racketeering in Nxivm case

first_imgLast modified on Mon 8 Apr 2019 19.50 EDT Share on Twitter Mack, 36, wept as she admitted her crimes and apologized to the women who prosecutors say were exploited by Keith Raniere and the purported self-help group called Nxivm.“I believed Keith Raniere’s intentions were to help people and I was wrong,” Mack told a judge in federal court in Brooklyn as she pleaded guilty to racketeering charges.Mack is best known for her role as a young Superman’s close friend on the series Smallville.After months of reflection since her arrest, she said: “I know I can and will be a better person.” Her sentencing was set for 11 September.The plea means Mack will avoid going to trial with Raniere, heiress Clare Bronfman and another member of Raniere’s inner circle, Kathy Russell. All have pleaded not guilty and denied any wrongdoing.Potential jurors were expected to begin filling out questionnaires on Monday. Opening statements are scheduled for 29 April.The question of whom jurors would see seated at the defense table that day had remained an open one in the wake of new allegations that Raniere exploited a teenage girl. His co-defendants have since sought separate trials and engaged in plea negotiations.Court papers allege Nxivm formed a secret society of women who were branded with Raniere’s initials and forced to have sex with him. Defense attorneys have insisted any relationship between Raniere and the alleged victims, including an unidentified actor and other women expected to testify against him at trial, was consensual.On Monday, Mack said that at Raniere’s direction she obtained compromising information and images of two unidentified women – called “collateral” within the group – that she threatened to make public if they didn’t perform “so-called acts of love”.The jury questionnaire covers several topics, including asking candidates for their opinions about “rich individuals” and people who “engage in relationships with multiple sexual partners” and whether they “believe that people under the age of 17 should be able to consent to sex with adults”. Since you’re here… Share via Email New York Mon 8 Apr 2019 13.43 EDT Share on Pinterest Topics Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Actor apologized to the women who prosecutors say were exploited by Keith Raniere and the purported self-help group news New York Actress Allison Mack departs the Brooklyn federal courthouse after facing charges related to the Nxivm case in New York on 8 April.Photograph: Shannon Stapleton/Reuters US crime This article is more than 3 months oldcenter_img Share on Facebook Support The Guardian … we have a small favour to ask. The Guardian will engage with the most critical issues of our time – from the escalating climate catastrophe to widespread inequality to the influence of big tech on our lives. At a time when factual information is a necessity, we believe that each of us, around the world, deserves access to accurate reporting with integrity at its heart.More people are reading and supporting The Guardian’s independent, investigative journalism than ever before. And unlike many news organisations, we have chosen an approach that allows us to keep our journalism accessible to all, regardless of where they live or what they can afford. But we need your ongoing support to keep working as we do.Our editorial independence means we set our own agenda and voice our own opinions. Guardian journalism is free from commercial and political bias and not influenced by billionaire owners or shareholders. This means we can give a voice to those less heard, explore where others turn away, and rigorously challenge those in power.We need your support to keep delivering quality journalism, to maintain our openness and to protect our precious independence. Every reader contribution, big or small, is so valuable. Support The Guardian from as little as $1 – and it only takes a minute. Thank you. Reuse this content Share on Facebook Smallville’s Allison Mack was allegedly a ‘top member’ of cult that abused women Smallville star Allison Mack pleads guilty to racketeering in Nxivm case Read more Shares9595 This article is more than 3 months old With jury selection beginning at the federal case against a cult-like upstate New York group, the actor Allison Mack pleaded guilty on Monday to charges she manipulated women into becoming sex slaves for the group’s spiritual leader. Share on Messenger Share on WhatsApp Share via Email Associated Press in New Yorklast_img read more