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Thursday, May 31, 2012

FCC commissioner Robert McDowell, seated in the middle of the witness table, warns that Google, iTunes, Facebook and Netflix could face new international taxes.

FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell warns a House committee that Google, iTunes, Facebook, and Netflix could face new international taxes.

(Credit: U.S. House of Representatives)

"In a rare show of bipartisan agreement, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle warned this morning that a United Nations summit in December will lead to a virtual takeover of the Internet if proposals from China, Russia, Iran, and Saudi Arabia are adopted. Called the World Conference on International Telecommunications, the summit would consider proposals including "[using] international mandates to charge certain Web destinations on a 'per-click' basis to fund the build-out of broadband infrastructure across the globe" and allowing ""governments to monitor and restrict content or impose economic costs upon international data flows." Concerns regarding the possible proposals were both aired at a congressional hearing this morning and drafted in a congressional resolution (pdf)."

Xilisoft iPad Magic Platinum

Great manager to transfer, backup and manage music, movies, photos, books and iPhone ringtones between iPad/iPod/iPhone, PC and iTunes. Doesn’t require syncing with itunes so you can recover everything instead of having apple rape you and delete all your property every time IT decides something has changed.

  • Transfer between iPad/iPod/iPhone and PC
    Transfer music, movies, photos, books(PDF and EPUB formats) and iPhone ringtones between iPad/iPod/iPhone and PC, easy and fast.
  • Backup iPad/iPod/iPhone to iTunes
    Backup all files in iPad/iPod/iPhone to iTunes library. Transfer the playlist to iTunes. Support iTunes 10.6 well.
  • Backup Messages
    Save messages from devices to PC for backup.
  • Manage iPod/iPhone Multimedia Files
    Create photo albums from pictures shot by iPhone, import PDF/EPUB books to devices, build playlists for multimedia files freely.
  • App Transfer and App Document Management
    Transfer application between computer and your device, and even manage document for some applications which support this operation.
  • Connect Multiple Devices Simultaneously
    Support connecting multiple devices simultaneously.
  • Support various view types
    Show music, movies, photos in various view modes: Song, Albums, Artists, Genres, Composers modes for music; Movies and Genres modes for movie files; photos and albums view modes for photo files.
  • Rip CD/DVD to iPad/iPod/iPhone
    Rip CD/DVD, including ISO image files and IFO folders as well to iPad/Pod/iPhone compatible music/movies.
  • Convert Audio/Videos to iPad/iPod/iPhone
    Convert a vast range of audios/videos to iPad/Pod/iPhone compatible music/movies, including M2TS, MTS, AVI, MPEG, WMV, DAT, TS, MPV, NSV, MOV, QT, H261, H264, WMA, AAC, AIF, AIFF, AC3 and so on.
  • Download and Convert Exciting Online Videos
    One-step to download and convert online videos from top online video websites, including YouTube, Metacafe, Dailymotion, Break, Vimeo, Revver, Blip, Vidilife and Stickam.
  • Create Customized iPhone Ringtones
    Create customized iPhone ringtones from various audios/videos.
  • Make Photo Albums from Photos Taken by iPhone
    Make personalized photo albums from the pictures take by iPhone and have a preview.
  • All iPad/iPod/iPhone Models Supported
    Fully support all iPod /iPhone models: iPad3, iPad Wi-Fi, iPad Wi-Fi+3G, iPad 16GB, iPad 32GB, iPad 64GB, iPod, nano (5th Gen), iPod mini, iPod shuffle, iPod classic, iPod touch, iPod touch 4, iPhone, CDMA iPhone 4, iPhone 3G, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S. Support iOS4.2, iOS 4.3, iOS 5.1 and iTunes10 as well.
  • NVIDIA GPU Acceleration Option is Enabled
    Enable NVIDIA GPU acceleration which improves the performance to a great degree.
  • Preview within the Built-in Player
    Comes with a built-in resizable media player to preview music/movies/photos.
  • Optimize Profiles for Imported Files
    Automatically select the optimized profiles for imported files, efficient and convenient.
  • Customize the Output of Multimedia Files
    When converting files, create your own profiles by customizing values of parameters like bit rate, frame rate, target format and etc.
  • Wi-Fi supported
    Users can transfer files via Wi-Fi besides using data wire.
  • Proxy Server Configuration
    Proxy server configuration allows you to configure the network, HTTP and SOCKS 5 are available.
  • Shortcut Keys for Operation
    Shortcut keys are supported to make the operation more conveniently and easier.
  • Multilingual Interface
    English, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese interface languages are optional.

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Xilisoft Video Converter Ultimate 7.3.0 build 20120529 | 34.9 MB


Xilisoft Video Converter is powerful, versatile video conversion software which converts between all popular video formats such as convert AVI to MPEG, WMV to AVI, WMV to MPEG or H.264/AVC video, convert AVI files to iPod formats, etc. No other programs like Xilisoft Video Converter supports so comprehensive video formats including AVI, MPEG, WMV, DivX, MP4, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, RM, MOV, XviD, 3GP, FLV, VOB (the video format used in DVD), DAT (the video format used in VCD, SVCD), etc. In addition, the video converter provides an easy way to convert video file to popular audio file, like MP2, MP3, WMA, WAV, RA, M4A, AAC, AC3, OGG, etc. The video converter also supports APE, CUE decoding and audio CD ripping.
Main Functions:
* Act as 3GP Video Converter, iPod Video Converter, PSP Video Converter, Zune Video Converter, AVI MPEG Converter, MP4 Video Converter, MOV Converter, MKV to MPEG converter, etc.;
* Convert between all popular video formats including AVI, MPEG, WMV, DivX, MP4, H.264/MPEG-4 AVC, RM, MOV, XviD, 3GP, FLV, help you on how to convert AVI to MPEG, convert MKV to AVI, convert MKV to MPEG;
* Convert videos to popular audio files, including MP2, MP3, WMA, WAV, RA, M4A, AAC, AC3, and OGG, and convert between these audio formats;
* Extract pictures from video and output them as JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP, SWF;
* Convert pictures to video formats like AVI, FLV, SWF, MOV, 3GP, WMV, etc.
Key Features:
* Powerful video effect editing functions to customize your video: crop video size, edit video effects, and add video watermark; (Ultimate only)
* Support the decoding and encoding of lossless audio; (Ultimate only)
* Preview and compare the source video and fixed video; (Ultimate only)
* Merge several video segments to one for conversion; (Ultimate and Platinum only)
* Clip segments from video and audio, and output them respectively or merge them into one for output; (Ultimate and Platinum only)
* Preview clipped video segment; (Ultimate and Platinum only)
* More optimized and classified profiles are supported now, and any profile can be customized to create your own one with your favorite settings;
* Customize the output file size and auto-calculate corresponding video bit rate;
* Multiple output formats can be set for one original to facilitate your conversion;
* Convert videos to compatible formats to work on PSP, PS3, iPod, iPhone, Apple TV, Zune, Archos, blackberry, iRiver PMP, Creative Zen, etc.;
* It supports H.264/AVC video format, PSP H.264/MPEG-4 AVC encoding/decoding, PSP H.264/AVC Video (480x272) (*.mp4);
* It provides batch conversion and multithreading, thus you can select multiple files at one time to have them convert one by one automatically;
* You can convert any clip or segment of the video at will by setting the start point and duration, and split one source file to several by duration or file size;
* video codec and audio codec can be modified: alternatively select video codec such as MPEG4, DVvideo, Mjpeg, etc. for AVI, H263, and MPEG4 for 3GP, as well as audio codec like PCM, MP2, MP3, MPEGAAC, AC3, etc.
* When converting files, you can pause, stop and continue at any moment;
* You can keep the default settings or set parameters of the video and audio by yourself to get particular effects for output file.

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Xilisoft DVD Creator 7.1.0 Build 20120530 | 42 MB

Xilisoft DVD Creator provides a simple, fast way to convert popular video formats such as convert AVI to DVD, WMV, ASF, DivX, Xvid, 3GP, MP4, MPEG to DVD and burn DVD movie which is playable on home DVD player with the perfect quality. Xilisoft DVD Creator allows you to specify NTSC or PAL format, adjust 4:3 or 16:9 video aspect, and either burn DVD movie disc or ISO file. The DVD Creator, i.e. DVD maker, is also DVD menu maker which provides so many brilliant DVD menus for your DVD authoring, supports DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW and DVD+RW. No DVD maker supports so comprehensive video formats like Xilisoft DVD Creator! So easy to use and fast than ever before, just one click to burn DVD movie or convert AVI to DVD, MPEG to DVD!
There has been no DVD burner supporting so comprehensive video formats including AVI, MPEG, WMV, DivX, Xvid, VOB, 3GP, MP4, etc., which means that the Internet will become storehouse of your home theater! And compared with other application, Xilisoft DVD Creator has more features attracting your eyes.
Main Functions:
• Convert AVI, MPEG, DivX, WMV to DVD, burn video files to DVD, like burn AVI, MPEG, DivX, WMV to DVD;
• Convert videos to DVD from AVI, MPEG, WMV, DivX, XviD, MP4, DV, VOB, ASF, 3GP, NUT, YUV, H.264 AVC, M4V files; (V3.0 Updated)
• Support creating DVD movie disc with adjustable DVD menu;
• Burn DVD movie disc, DVD folder, ISO files.
Key Features:
• Provide more friendly interface in DVD Creator V3.0;
• You can trim any segment of a video to burn DVD movie; (V3.0 Added)
• Provide many brilliant DVD menus for choice to burn AVI to DVD and you can edit the menu by setting background music, image and adding the menu topic; (V3.0 Updated)
• Xilisoft DVD Creator supports DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD+R DL, DVD-R DL, DVD-RAM, DVD-5 and DVD-9; (V3.0 Updated)
• You can set any segment or frame of a title as its video miniature in menu; (V3.0 Added)
• Support video preview before creating DVD; (V3.0 Added)
• You can set the actions after burn video files to DVD; (V3.0 Added)
• High-quality and fastest converting engine inside to help on how to burn AVI to DVD, and from other formats;
• It supports creating DVD movie with menu skipping to directly play main movie; (V3.0 Updated)
• Provide two modes to display loaded files: thumbnail mode and list mode;
• Offer multithreading and batch conversion;
• Provide >200% converting speed, so fast beyond your imagination.

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Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate 7.3.0 build 20120529 | 36.6 MB


Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate 5 is powerful and easy-to-use DVD ripping software with the ability of ripping DVD to almost all video and audio formats, such as AVI, MPEG, WMV, DivX, MP4, H.264, RM, MOV, M4V, XviD, 3GP, MP3, WMA, WAV, RA, M4A, AAC, AC3, OGG, etc. With its powerful compatibility for iPod, iPhone, PSP, Apple TV etc., Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate enables you to rip DVD to various portable media players supported formats. Additionally, it can help you clip video segment, crop video size, edit video effects, adjust subtitle, and add video watermark, to get the customized DVD audio and video files.
• DVD video ripper - rip DVD to video
Rip DVD movie to almost all video formats, such as AVI, MPEG1/MPEG2/MPEG4, WMV, DivX, MP4, H.264, RM, MOV, M4V, XviD, 3GP, VOB, FLV, SWF;
• DVD audio ripper - rip DVD to audio
Extract the DVD audio to save as almost all audio formats, e.g. rip DVD to MP2, MP3, WMA, WAV, RA, M4A, AAC, AC3, OGG, AU;
• DVD picture converter - rip DVD to picture
Many picture and animation profiles are available for you to capture pictures from DVD movies at fixed interval, like JPG, PNG, GIF, BMP;
• Video editor - multiple editing functions
Powerful video editing functions of Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate let you freely clip and merge video segments, crop video size, edit video effects, adjust video subtitle, and add video watermark;
• Extra adapter - offer custom options
Create your own profile in the way of adjusting the parameters of existing profile; Customize output file size using the powerful Bitrate Calculator tool; Set divers output formats from one source by adding profile.
* Split and merge. Splitting one source file into several or merging several source files into one is up to you;
* Concurrently set divers output formats from one. You can concurrently choose divers formats as outputting to rip one original further for different multimedia devices applications;
* Video preview. You can preview the source video or the fixed video, and even compare them before ripping;
* Batch processing. Just add all source files selected, and click one button, Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate will automatically rip them to the target formats you want one by one;
* Advanced audio and video settings. Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate provides detailed audio and video settings, such as quality level, sample rate, channel, split mode, to meet different needs;
* Television Broadcast standard supported. Support both NTSC and PAL DVD ripping;
* Retrieve DVD information online. You can acquire DVD information from the Internet automatically or manually;
* Excellent audio and video quality. Compared with other rip software, Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate rips DVD to any audio and video with better quality beyond your imagination, like the original DVD;
* Easy to use. Ripping DVD to video and audio with Xilisoft DVD Ripper Ultimate is so simple that even a novice can also get video and audio from DVD with ease;
* High ripping speed. Fully support Intel Pentium D Dual-Core Processor and AMD Athlon 64 X 2 Dual-Core Processor; support multi-threading with no limitation in speed; detect your CPU model automatically, offer you the fastest ripping speed;
* Multi-language. We provide Chinese, English etc. languages for you to choose.

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The NSW upper house has passed a motion calling on the federal government to allow gay marriage, despite a Liberal MP saying that change could lead to polygamy.

Greens MP Cate Faehrmann's private members' motion passed 22 votes to 16 in the Legislative Council, with both major parties allowing a conscience vote.

NSW has now joined Tasmania and the ACT in having a parliamentary chamber call for the 1961 commonwealth Marriage Act to be amended to allow same-sex marriage.

Shortly before the vote, Ms Faehrmann likened a ban on gay marriage to 1950s laws prohibiting Aboriginal men from marrying white women.

During the debate, Labor MP Helen Westwood described being in a lesbian relationship and having eight grandchildren.

"There's just no evidence that my children or my grandchildren have been disadvantaged by being raised in a same-sex relationship," she told the chamber on Thursday.

But Labor's leader in the upper house Luke Foley, who hails from the party's left faction, said that as a practising Catholic he believed civil unions were more appropriate for gay couples than marriage.

"I do believe that homosexual relationships are different to a married relationship," he said, adding a "procreative relationship open to the possibility of children" was an "essential feature of marriage".

Liberal member Matthew Mason-Cox argued same-sex marriage could lead to polygamy.

"Indeed, if one was to take the notion of equality of marriage to its logical conclusion, then there would be no reason to stand in the way of polygamist marriages, or other variants," he said.

"This is the so-called slippery slope in this debate which has manifested itself overseas in some jurisdictions where same-sex marriage has been allowed."

Fellow Liberal Catherine Cusack, however, said denying gay people the right to marriage caused "enormous harm and hurt" and was a 19th century approach to relationships.

"The rights that we have all been able to take for granted - myself, my husband, my parents - ought to be extended to all couples," she said.

Premier Barry O'Farrell declined to confirm whether he backed the motion.

"It's an issue for the upper house, should it come to the lower house I'll make my views clear then," he told reporters in Sydney.

Mr O'Farrell dismissed suggestions the motion would put pressure on federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to allow a conscience vote when several gay marriage bills come before federal parliament.

But Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young and Australian Marriage Equality convenor Alex Greenwich said the motion had put pressure on Mr Abbott to allow a conscience vote on the issue.

The upper house passed an amendment from National Trevor Khan for religious groups to be exempted from having to perform gay marriage ceremonies.

But the Legislative Council rejected amendments from Christian Democrats MP Fred Nile and Labor's Greg Donnelly, which noted the European Court of Human Rights did not consider homosexual marriage to be an inherent right.

The Australian Christian Lobby's NSW director David Hutt said it was disappointing the NSW Parliament had allowed itself to be "co-opted into an activist campaign" to change the federal Marriage Act.

Federal Attorney-General Nicola Roxon criticised Mr Abbott for not allowing the party's federal MPs to have a conscience vote on the issue.

"He is trying to impose his own beliefs on the consciences of his frontbench," Ms Roxon said in a statement.

Ms Roxon said Mr Abbott was worried about how federal Liberals would vote if they were given a conscience vote.

"Is he afraid of what Mr Turnbull would do? Is he afraid of what Senator Birmingham would do?"

Leuser and Gober: Sumatran orangutang struggling against deforstation in Aceh Indonesia

Leuser, a blind Sumatran orangutan has survived poachers, air rifles, and deforestation during his 13 years of life. Leuser has been saved twice by the Sumatran Orangutan Conservation Program (SOCP), but now resides in captivity at their quarantine centre in Medan, Sumatra, after being shot 62 times by villagers seeking entertainment

Monday, May 28, 2012

Only a few mammals have fingerprints – us humans, primates and koalas. Koala fingerprints are so similar to human fingerprints that even with an electron microscope, it’s quite difficult to tell them apart. What’s amazing is that koala prints  seem to have evolved independently. On the evolutionary tree of life, primates and modern koalas’ marsupial ancestors branched apart 70 million years ago.It is believed that koala finger prints developed more recently because most of its close relatives (like wombats and kangaroos) lack them. It is thought that the reason why we have fingerprints is for grasping. Henneberg, Lambert and Leigh explain that fingerprints are “a biomechanical adaptation to grasping which produces multidirectional mechanical influences on the skin.”


Back now was all over asia it has been quite an adventure did practically everything that you can think of doing from shooting guns to evading mafia to trekking across mountains and jungle land boating across oceans. almost near the end of my wonderful journey i met the girl of my dreams and asked her to marry me ^_^ cant wait till the visas are all worked out and i can be with her again.

Teen secretly lived in AOL's HQ for 2 months, eating free food, using gym & showers, sleeping in conference rooms while working on his start-up. Everyone assumed he worked there


19-year-old entrepreneur Eric Simons spent two months secretly living at AOL's Palo Alto, Calif. campus, sleeping each night on a couch like this one.

(Credit: Eric Simons)

It was 6 a.m. when Eric Simons was jolted awake by the yelling.

After working until 4 a.m, the 19-year-old entrepreneur had finally passed out. A few hours of sleep would help with the day ahead.

But unlike most people working at AOL's Palo Alto, Calif., campus who were surely still hours from showing up at the sprawling complex, Simons was already there. He'd been living there for two months, hiding out at night on couches, eating the company's food, and exercising and showering in its gym. And now, with an angry security guard bellowing at him, it was all over.

Eric Simons

(Credit: Eric Simons)

The story of how Simons, just two years removed from a Chicago high school, came to be living in AOL's Palo Alto campus could well become part of Silicon Valley lore, especially because it highlights the lengths some entrepreneurs will go to make their dreams a reality. And though stories abound these days of startup founders barely old enough to drink swimming in venture capital, far more have to get by on packaged noodles and the good will of friends with extra couches.

You hear it all the time, but Simons, now 20, was a mediocre student with little interest in school. That changed one day when his high school chemistry teacher confronted him and demanded to know what she could do to get him interested.

"I was stumped," Simons writes on the About Us page of his startup, ClassConnect. "She didn't ask me to try harder, she didn't ask me to stay after for help or study more -- she asked me to figure out how she could grab my interest. No one had ever bothered to ask me that before. A few moments later I replied, 'let's get everyone working together on computers -- I'll even build the software for us to use.'" His life as an entrepreneur had begun.

He wanted to get straight into the thick of it, so after high school, and a short period crashing on couches with friends at the University of Illinois, Simons accepted a slot in the inaugural class of Imagine K12, a new Silicon Valley incubator focused entirely on education. His plan? Start a company that builds tools allowing teachers to create and discover lesson plans, and share them with students and teachers.

"Teachers around the U.S. and the world are asked to teach from a checklist," Simons said. "They're asked to teach the exact same thing...and they're all going and creating their own lessons. What we've built is almost a GitHub for teacher lessons. They can fork someone else's lesson plan and use that as a springboard."

Is it ironic that a bad student ended up launching a company that aims to revolutionize education? Simons doesn't think so. "It wasn't that I didn't like school," he said. "I didn't like [the way it was done]. I said, I'm going to take a crack at this. I'm young enough that I can take a crack at some crazy stuff. Ten years from now, maybe I can't be sleeping on people's couches."

Living at AOL
For Simons, "crazy stuff" meant moving to Silicon Valley and trying to get his fledgling company off the ground. But his initial idea wasn't quite working. Imagine K12 was a great place to get mentorship and learn how startups are built, but he and his ClassConnect partners had been given just $20,000 by the incubator, and after the four-month program ended, the money was gone. When his friends left to go back to college, Simons needed another solution.

AOL's Palo Alto campus, as seen using Google Maps. (Credit: Screenshot by CNET)

Imagine K12 is hosted at AOL's Palo Alto campus, and everyone involved gets a building badge. As it turns out, Simons told CNET, the badges kept working, even after the program ended, giving him ongoing access, along with a face that had become familiar to others who worked there.

"I couldn't afford to live anywhere," Simons recalled. "I started living out of AOL's headquarters."

Contacted for comment, David Temkin, senior vice president of Mail and Mobile for AOL, told CNET, "It was always our intention to facilitate entrepreneurialism in the Palo Alto office -- we just didn't expect it to work so well."

For someone with neither money nor an aversion to sleeping on others' couches, the AOL building had plenty of allure. "They had a gym there with showers," Simons said. "I'd take a shower after work. I was like, 'I could totally work here...They have food upstairs, they have every drink on tap. This would be a sweet place to live.'"

Note that Simons said he would work there. After his four months in the incubator, he was used to toiling away at ClassConnect inside the building, and with other programs, from the Stanford-focused incubator StartX to AOL's own First Floor Labs also taking up space there, there was no shortage of non-AOL employees shuffling in and out all the time. But Simons was intent on launching his startup, so why not find a desk and pound away for 12 to 16 hours a day?

"There were so many people going in and out each day," he said. "They'd say, 'Oh, he just works, here, he's working late every night. Wow, what a hard worker.'"

$30 a month
Having spent several months legitimately working in the building, often quite late, Simons had noticed that although there were security guards with nightly rounds, there were at least three couches that seemed outside those patrols. Plus, they looked fairly comfortable. He claimed them.

This was his routine: He'd work until midnight or later, and then fall asleep around 2 a.m. on one of the couches. At 7 a.m. -- and no later than 8 a.m. so he'd be safely out of his field bed before anyone else arrived -- he'd wake up, go down to the gym for a workout and a shower, and then go back upstairs and scarf a breakfast of cereal and water or Coke. Then he'd work all day, finally waiting until everyone else in the building had gone home before returning to one of his three favored couches.

"I got a really good work ethic," he said, "and I got in shape, since I had to work out every morning."

But the real point was that he was spending next to nothing. The first month, he spent just $30, mainly on the occasional trip to McDonald's or for "random food expenditures when I got sick of eating ramen and cereal. I could have not spent a dollar, but I was going crazy."

Then, of course, there was Thanksgiving. That Thursday, to splurge, he grabbed dinner at a local Boston Market.

"It was a game I was playing," he said. "What is the minimum amount of money I can spend each day to stay alive. You do some crazy things."

Some of those crazy things included getting by with the barest of wardrobes. But because he had access to the building gym, he kept everything other than the clothes on his back and his computer there. "I only had maybe five to ten T-shirts, a pair of jeans, and a pair of shorts," he said, "so it all fit in one locker. [Plus] they had their own laundromat there, so I'd wash my clothes there."

Simons could probably have crashed elsewhere, but he wanted to see how long he could make the AOL squatting work. Some friends knew what he was doing, and they thought it was funny. But no one helped him, other than a couple buddies who discussed strategies with him on how to evade security.

"Honestly (though), I didn't think they were going to catch on," Simons said. "I had no indicators that they even cared about that...After the first month, I was like, 'This has worked so far, but this probably isn't sustainable,' so I made sure my friends were OK with" me eventually crashing on their couches.

And then came that fateful morning with the 6 a.m. yelling. "One of the guys who manages the building came in at like 5 or 6 in the morning," Simons lamented, "and he scoured the entire place to find me. And he ripped me a new one. He was pissed that I was treating it like a dorm. Which was reasonable."

Ever the entrepreneur
Though the security guard was angry, he knew that Simons was part of Imagine K12. So no one called the police. He lost his badge, but he still had access to the incubator, and continues to go to the AOL building for meetings to this day. But he treads carefully. "When I'm there, I beeline for the Imagine K12 office," he said, "and when I'm done, I beeline straight for the door."

After moving out of the AOL building, things began looking up financially. Based on the strength of what he'd built for ClassConnect, especially after pivoting and focusing solely on letting teachers share lesson plans, Simons said he was able to score $50,000 in seed funding from Ulu Ventures and Silicon Valley VC Paul Sherer.

"I was aware" of Simons living at AOL, Clint Korver of Ulu Ventures told CNET. "Tenacity and commitment are key attributes of a great entrepreneur. Eric has these in spades as demonstrated by his willingness to do whatever it takes to get his company off the ground."

Now, Simons said, he's looking to raise an additional $500,000.

But one thing the initial $50,000 got for him is a rental house in Palo Alto. It's also made it possible for him to hire an engineer and a couple of interns for ClassConnect, all of whom will share the new pad.

But being the consummate entrepreneur, he decided to use the house to raise extra cash. One of the bedrooms has two bunk beds, so Simons turned the place into a hacker house by renting them out on Airbnb, and trying to make a couple grand a month to help with the rent.

So is Simons just a kid with a particularly honed entrepreneurial spirit?

"Yeah, save money whenever possible, and use all the resources you can," he said. "And don't die. That's basically my motto."

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