- A mysterious combination of three emoji — 👁👄👁 — recently captured the attention of the tech industry on Twitter.
- The hype the project created, and the secrecy surrounding a purported app called It Is What It Is, was successful in getting thousands of interested users to clamor for invites and Silicon Valley elite donating to racial justice funds.
- In a statement posted late Friday night, the team behind the project revealed that what started as a meme shared among friends became something bigger than the group ever expected.
- With “It Is What It Is,” the team demonstrated how Silicon Valley is attracted in droves to secrecy and exclusivity, as was shone with invite-only app, like pay-for-email service Hey and audio-chat platform Clubhouse.
- According to team member Regynald Augustin, 👁👄👁 has raised more than $200,000 for charities supporting Black trans people and the Black Lives Matter movement.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
For more than 24 hours, tech workers in Silicon Valley and high-profile venture capitalists were animated over what appeared to be a secretive app and a series of a cryptic tweets. Whatever it was appeared to be the next big thing: Investors and partners at venture firms like Draper and Gelt VC were talking about exclusive invites, techies at companies like Facebook were posting screenshots to Twitter, and prominent entrepreneurs were pleading with their followers for access and more info about the emoji combination 👁👄👁. The only response: “It is what it is.”
On Friday night, the group behind the hype released a statement. It was what it was, a meme. There was no app.
It started as a joke and critique of Silicon Valley’s obsession with exclusive, invite-only apps like Hey and Clubhouse, and how the mostly white tech industry can ignore “real needs faced by marginalized people,” the statement said.
The group, mostly young people of color in tech, said it used that exclusivity and secrecy to manufacture the kind of hype it knew would capture Silicon Valley. Then it “redirected it towards a critical social need” and raised more than $200,000 for racial justice charities by Saturday morning, one of the members told Business Insider in an interview.
But only a few days before the almost-quarter-of-a-million dollars donated and nearly 50,000 email signups, the project was just a group chat among friends, a website made “during lunch,” and a TikTok meme added to Twitter profiles.
More than a half-dozen people involved with the project told Business Insider that they didn’t expect it to gather the steam it did. “We made memes and spread hype because we were bored and it was just something to do on, ya kno, a quarantined Thursday,” Tina Zheng, a software engineer in the Bay Area, said in a message.
“Once we had a bunch of hype, we realized we couldn’t *not* do anything with it,” she said. “That’s where we decided to redirect the attention to a more worthy cause.”
—Regynald 👁👄👁 (@negroprogrammer) June 27, 2020
On Wednesday, Athena Kan, who leads the employment and training startup Ladder, texted Zheng with the idea to add the eye-mouth-eye emoji meme to their Twitter profiles. The two said they then contacted some friends to add it to their profiles as well, and formed a group chat on Twitter about the meme. In a matter of hours on Thursday, Zheng had bought a domain and another member of the group, David Bui, had created a website.
On Thursday night, the tech industry was introduced via Twitter, en masse, to this emoji combination: 👁👄👁. Word spread about a mysterious project called “It Is What It Is,” as Silicon Valley clamored to figure out what the hype was all about and how the elite could secure their own access to the invite-only platform.
“What started out as a meme in our small group chat grew bigger than we ever imagined. So we thought about how to make use of the hype cycle we’d stumbled upon,” the team wrote in the statement. “But honestly, we didn’t have to think too hard: in this moment, there’s pretty much no greater issue to amplify than the systemic racism and anti-Blackness much of the world is only beginning to wake up to.”
In the day and a half after 👁👄👁 first started appearing across Twitter, the team has raised more than $200,000 for charities supporting the Black community and trans people of color, according to Regynald Augustin, an engineer at Twitter who helped launch the project. The group’s website currently encourages visitors to donate to the Loveland Foundation, The Innocence Project, and The Okra Project.
Augustin and Reggie James, the founder of nascent social app Eternal, told Business Insider that a diverse group of around 60 20-somethings in tech were behind “It Is What It Is.” After members started adding “👁👄👁” to their Twitter names and bios, it didn’t take long for it to catch on. It took on a life of its own, as many struggled figure out whether this purported app was real, or merely an elaborate satire of tech marketing. The website didn’t help explain any further: The only clickable thing on it was a box directing you to “give us ur info,” where you could enter your email to, presumably, get on the app’s waitlist.
Augustin told Business Insider that 30,000 to 50,000 people added their emails to the waitlist. The team successfully captured the tech industry’s attention ahead of a teased announcement for Friday night at 7pm PT, shortly after which they released tbe statement.
—it is what it is (@itiseyemoutheye) June 27, 2020
Both the name and the emoji (👁👄👁) associated with it are, expectedly, based in meme culture, as Josh Constine first pointed out. The emoji can be traced back to this YouTube video from last year, and is now freely used across social platforms for “expressing surprise, shock, anger, or disgust,” according to Urban Dictionary. The name — It Is What It Is — goes beyond a commonly used idiom. The audio from this video of a group of teens echoing these words has, since then, become a popular soundtrack for short videos on the viral app TikTok.
The majority of tweets shared about the app became forms of trolling, purporting the inside-joke feeling of meme culture. But on Twitter, it only made Silicon Valley elite more intrigued, as hundreds messaged team members trying score invites and making donations to move up on the waitlist.
“People thought there was a new private beta with only these young tech kids. They wanted in because no one can not be in the know,” James said.
The people behind It Is What It Is seem to be onto something. The dramatic pull of exclusivity and secrecy in Silicon Valley was demonstrated earlier this year, after an invite-only audio-chat app called Clubhouse launched in beta. Although the app has just 5,000 users, it’s already valued at $100 million.
“It’s a time where everyone wants to be on one of these private social apps,” Augustin said. “They want to be on this up-and-coming thing,”
Dymax Introduces 9906-AA Low-Shrinkage Cationic Epoxy for the Asia Active Alignment Market
SINGAPORE, May 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Dymax, leading manufacturer of rapid light-curing materials and equipment, has developed a light and/or heat-curable cationic epoxy for active alignment of camera modules, optical components, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging), and other ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) assemblies used in automotive applications.
Optical components, lenses in cameras, CCD chips or complex optical devices need to be positioned economically and efficiently. Active alignment is the primary solution for making high-precision image systems manufacturable and feasible in final products, where devices need to align down to micron accuracy. 9906-AA has very low volumetric shrinkage, high Tg, and low coefficient thermal expansion (CTE), and was developed to meet these rigorous active alignment requirements.
The flexibility to cure very fast with broad spectrum UV light, LED light, or low temperature heat accommodates a variety of application needs. As our next generation cationic epoxy, 9906-AA and has improved 85°C/85% RH resistance, exhibits less overall movement through thermal excursions, and features higher viscosity and thixotropy to maintain bead shape upon dispense. In addition, the material can be refrigerated and shipped/stored at 1-5°C, and not frozen. Dymax 9906-AA meets NASA ASTM E595 low-outgassing specifications making this solution ideal for critical optical components. All these characteristics help manufacturers improve time-to-market, reduce scrap costs, and enhance overall image quality.
Typical camera module applications include bonding the lens barrel to holder, lens bonding, and bonding the holder to printed circuit boards (PCBs).
Dymax develops innovative rapid and light-curable materials, dispense equipment, and UV/LED light-curing systems. The company’s adhesives, coatings, and equipment are perfectly matched to work seamlessly with each other, providing design engineers with tools to dramatically improve manufacturing efficiencies. Major markets include aerospace and defense; medical device; and consumer and automotive electronics.
For additional information on Dymax, visit www.dymax.com
TuSimple Reports Receiving 6,775 Orders For Its Self-Driving Electric Truck
Self-driving trucking company TuSimple Holdings (NASDAQ:TSP) said on Monday it scored 1,000 new bookings in April and added 1,200 in the first quarter, taking its total booking to 6,775 trucks so far.
What Happened: The San Diego-based autonomous trucking company that raised $1.35 billion in a public offering last month is gearing up to launch driverless 18-wheelers in partnership with Navistar International Corp (NYSE:NAV) beginning 2024.
The company said trucking companies Penske Truck Leasing, Schneider National Inc (NYSE:SNDR) and US Xpress Enterprises Inc (NYSE:USX) are among the large freight transportation companies in North America to place the orders.
TuSimple and Navistar had last year announced a strategic partnership to co-develop L4 autonomous heavy-duty trucks.
About 53% of its total bookings now are from truck carriers, 30% from rail operators and 17% are from shippers and parcel carriers, the company CEO Cheng Lu said.
Reservations are non-binding and require a $500 truck deposit.
Why It Matters: The development comes at a time as competition in self-driving technology picks up pace. On Monday, Plus announced a SPAC deal with plans to launch autonomous trucks in 2021.
Plus is working on mass production-ready, low-cost Level 4 autonomous driving technology for the long-haul trucking sector.
See Also: Autonomous Trucking Company Plus Announces SPAC Deal: What Investors Should Know
In the trucking industry, there is a driver shortage, high driver turnover and about two-thirds of costs are made up from labor and fuel.
Price Action: TuSimple shares closed 0.54% lower at $37.09 on Monday.
Bella Aurora launches its first treatment for white patches on the skin
– Almost 2% of worldwide population have white patches on the skin caused by lack of pigmentation1
– World Vitiligo Day is observed on 25th June
MADRID, May 11, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Bella Aurora Labs, a pioneering company that for more than 130 years has specialised in the study of melanocytes, has announced the launch of Repigment, its first ever line formulated to treat white patches on the skin. Repigment is the culmination of a more than four-year collaboration with Italian dermatologist and vitiligo specialist Dr Matteo Bordignon.
“As experts in the study of melanocytes and skin pigmentation, we can offer a solution to skins with abnormal pigmentation. Approximately two per cent of the global population has this skin condition which, although it is not painful, has a psychological impact.” says Jordi Segura, R&D Director at Bella Aurora.
“In the course of my work as a dermatologist, I treat numerous people with hypo- pigmentation, most of whom are desperate to find an effective treatment. With Repigment, we now have an opportunity to improve these people’s lives, making my ten years of research even more significant.” says Dr Matteo Bordignon.
It was in 2013 that Dr Bordignon published2 his discovery that the MIA protein, produced abnormally by melanocytes, is responsible for hypopigmentation or the formation of white patches on the skin. His studies demonstrate how the MIA protein breaks the adhesion system of melanocytes to the basal membrane, from which they become detached and are lost. It is the absence of melanocytes that causes the appearance of white patches.
The new treatment for hypopigmentation
Repigment is Bella Aurora’s first ever effective treatment for white patches. As well as stopping new white patches from developing, this patented product also restores the pigment to the affected areas.
The new Repigment line consists of the repigmenting cream that contains the Repigma12 peptide to block the MIA protein, and RepigmentSun capsules, a food supplement that prepares the skin for exposure to the sun or for booth radiation sessions.
Recommendations: apply the cream twice daily to the affected areas and take one capsule with a glass of water with a meal to protect the skin. The treatment must be accompanied by exposure to natural sunlight or artificial UV light under the supervision of a health professional. It is recommended to follow the treatment for at least six months or until the area is fully repigmented.
Repigment is available on www.bella-aurora.com.
Results of 150 days of treatment and phototherapy3.
It is necessary to continue with the treatment until the complete repigmentation.
About Bella Aurora
Bella Aurora, as part of Bella Aurora Labs, has a history that dates back 130 years. As a result of its experience in the study of melanocytes, Bella Aurora has developed an efficient solution that eliminates dark spots from the skin.
Bella Aurora has invested in decades of research into the different mechanisms that influence skin pigmentation processes. The company’s scientific expertise in this area has resulted in the launch of patented B-CORE 221TM on the market, an exclusive technology that will represent a turning point in the treatment of abnormal pigmentation.
It already has a solid presence in Europe, Asia and the US and is on a mission to become an established world leader in skin pigmentation and the number one for eliminating dark spots and white patches.
About Dr Matteo Bordignon
Dr Matteo Bordignon qualified in Medicine and Surgery with the highest scores and honours from the University of Padua. In 2009, he specialised with honours in Dermatology and Venereology at the University of Padua, one of the most prestigious in Italy and one of the oldest in the world. He is also the author and co-author of numerous articles in international scientific journals and during his training he took part in clinical trials and laboratory activities. In the research field, after years studying vitiligo, Dr Bordignon was the first to identify the relationship between the MIA protein and this skin condition.
To request an interview with Dr Matteo Bordignon, please contact Alejandra Delgado.
1. Source: European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology.
2. Bordignon M, Castellani C, Fedrigo M, Thiene G, Peserico A, Alaibac M, et al. Role of alpha5beta1 integrin and MIA (melanoma inhibitory activity) in the pathogenesis of vitiligo. J Dermatol Sci. 2013 Aug;71(2):142-5.
3. Source: Bordignon M. Development of a new topical treatment for vitiligo based on the MIA-inhibitors technology. 2020; Jan. Data on File.
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Clarity Gold Acquires Strategic Surface Rights Over the Destiny Project in the Abitibi Region
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 11, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Clarity Gold Corp. (“Clarity” or the “Company”) (CSE: CLAR, OTC: CLGCF, FSE: 27G) is pleased to announce the purchase of surface rights of two lots for a resulting total area of approximately 82 hectares over a key portion of the Destiny Project in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt in Quebec.
The surface rights cover the core of the historic work and were purchased from a local family in the region. Securing these surface rights will allow the company to work efficiently and provide security to advance the project.
“After much due diligence, we are thrilled to acquire these surface rights. It will allow the company to cost effectively carry out its work as our drilling program progresses. It is a move forward for the security of advancing this Project as a long-term investment,” said James Rogers, CEO of Clarity. “In addition to providing easier access to the work area these surface rights secure a space for project infrastructure as we advance.”
The total purchase of $250,000.00 for two lots, at $125,000.00 per lot involves a cash payment of $25,000.00 per lot at closing, with the remaining balance of $100,000.00 per lot payable in 4 equal consecutive installments of $25,000.00 every quarter following the closing. The previously mentioned total area is net of an approximately 1.86 hectare portion of one of the lots that will be subdivided and transferred to the vendors. Clarity will have a right of access servitude through this subdivision.
About the Destiny Project
Clarity Gold Corp. is actively drilling and advancing the 5,013 ha Destiny Project is located in the prolific Abitibi Greenstone Belt along a major structural break which is largely underexplored. The project has excellent infrastructure, with road access approximately 75 km NNE of the city of Val d’Or and has considerable work done to date including over 50,000 m of diamond drilling.
For a more detailed account, the reader is encouraged to refer to the Company’s website.
Clarity Gold Corp. is a Canadian mineral exploration company focused on the acquisition, exploration and development of gold projects in Canada. The Company has entered into an option agreement to purchase 100% of the Destiny Project, Clarity’s flagship asset, a gold-focused project in the mineral rich Abitibi region in Quebec. The Company is based in Vancouver, British Columbia, and is listed on the CSE under the symbol “CLAR”. To learn more about Clarity Gold Corp. and its projects please visit www.claritygoldcorp.com.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Chief Executive Officer
Tel: 1 (833) 387-7436
The Canadian Securities Exchange (operated by CNSX Markets Inc.) has neither approved nor disapproved of the contents of this press release.
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