The game that ate the world: 40 facts on Pac-Man’s 40th birthday | Games – Blog – 10 minute

It was on this day in 1980 that one of gaming’s most iconic characters made his debut. To celebrate, here are 40 facts about the ravenous yellow circle and his proud, pill-popping legacy …
1. Pac-Man was created by game designer Toru Iwatani – he was just 24 at the time. The idea for the character came to him when he removed a slice from a pizza.
2. He was also partly inspired by the onomatopoeic phrase paku paku meaning “chomp chomp” and the kanji symbol for the word taberu meaning “to eat”.
3. In 2010, Iwatani told Wired that Pac-Man particularly targeted female players. “When you think about things women like, you think about fashion, or fortune-telling, or food or dating boyfriends. So I decided to theme the game around ‘eating’.” There is absolutely nothing problematic about this statement …
4. To make the game more kawaii (“cute”), Iwatani designed the ghosts in bright colours and gave them large doe-eyes.
5. The ghosts are called Blinky, Pinky, Inky and Clyde and they each have their own personalities based on AI routines. Blinky constantly chases Pac-Man, Pinky attempts to ambush him, Inky is randomised depending on Pac-Man’s position and Clyde will get close to the player then attempt to flee to the bottom left corner, potentially cutting off escape routes.

Arcade adventure … Pac-Man. Photograph: Adam Berry/Getty Images
6. The idea of eating a power pill to give Pac-Man super strength came partly from the cartoon Popeye and his love of spinach, and partly from the Japanese concept of kokoro (“spirit”) or life force. It’s considered one of the first examples of a “power up” in video game history.
7. Pac-Man manufacturer Namco installed the first machine in a movie theatre in Shibuya, Tokyo, on 22 May 1980.
8. The game was only a moderate success until its blockbusting US launch the following October.
9. It was originally called Puck Man, but the US distributor Midway was worried that the word Puck could easily be modified by mischievous vandals into something ruder. Hence, Pac-Man.
10. The game features short animated sequences between levels, showing Pac-Man being chased by the ghosts. This was one of the first examples of a non-interactive video game “cutscene”.
11. Martin Amis was a fan of the game and in his 1982 book Invasion of the Space Invaders claimed to have spent weeks in “a Pac-Man-fed stupor […] unwilling and unable to think about anything else”.
12. Within a year of Pac-Man’s launch, 100,000 units had been sold and 250m games were being played every week. Pac-Man became gaming’s first marketable mascot, with licensed merchandise including lunchboxes, joke books, T-shirts, board games, pyjamas and, for the romantic gamer, Valentine cards.

Inspired by pizza … Toru Iwatani, creator of Pac-Man. Photograph: Elvis Gonzalez/EPA
13. A strategy guide to the game, Mastering Pac-Man by professional blackjack player Ken Uston, sold more than 1m copies.
14. With its simplified maze and blocky visuals, the Atari 2600 version of Pac-Man is widely considered one of the worst arcade-to-home console conversions of all time. Although it sold 7m copies, the game was so wretched it has been widely blamed for the 1983 video game crash, alongside the similarly poor title, ET.
15. Japanese toy manufacturer Tomy made a famously beautiful, handheld Pac-Man game in the shape of an enormous yellow blob with an LCD display. This advert for the device is quite a rush.
16. The tribute song Pac-Man Fever by artists Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia reached number nine in the US charts in March 1982. An album of video-game-inspired songs followed. It was not good.
17. The game’s distinctive electronic music and sound effects were also an inspiration to early hip-hop pioneers. Notable examples include Jonzun Crew’s Pack Jam and Newcleus’s Jam on Revenge (The Wikki-Wikki Song).
18. The game gave us this Marcus Brigstocke joke: “If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we’d all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music.”
19. In 1981, Japanese manufacturer Shoei released a terrible “erotic” version of Pac-Man called Streaking. It was later heavily featured in the movie Joysticks, which belonged to the 1980s teen sex comedy genre popularised by Porky’s. Here is the movie trailer. Please don’t watch it.
20. The movie also featured preview footage of Super Pac-Man, Namco’s official sequel to the original game.
21. In a 1982 episode of the sitcom Taxi, Louie (Danny DeVito) installs a Pac-Man cabinet in the garage and Jim (Christopher Lloyd) becomes addicted to the game. The scene is effectively a how-to guide and an advert for Pac-Man rolled into one.

22. Pac-Man was a major element in the appalling Adam Sandler comedy Pixels, with Toru Iwatani getting a cameo as an arcade repairman. But let’s just forget about that, shall we?
23. In 1999, Billy Mitchell became the first person to obtain a perfect Pac-Man score of 3,333,360, eating every dot, power pill, ghost and bonus on every level without losing a single life. However, Mitchell was later accused of cheating by video game records supervisor Twin Galaxies. The record was equalled by David Race in 2012.
24. It is impossible to score higher than that because of a bug in the game that turns the screen to gibberish on the 256th screen.
25. The success of Pac-Man inspired US distributor Bally Midway to create a series of mostly identical sequels: Ms Pac-Man, Pac-Man Plus, Jr Pac-Man, Baby Pac-Man (which added a mini pinball table under the monitor) and Professor Pac-Man.
26. Professor Pac-Man was a quiz game depicting Pac-Man in a mortar board and glasses. It was not a success.
27. In 1982, Hanna-Barbera produced a Pac-Man cartoon series. It features Pac-Man, Ms Pac-Man, their child Pac-Baby and their cat Sour Puss as they attempt to elude the evil Mezmaron who is obsessed with power pills. The intro sequence is a work of hallucinogenic brilliance.
28. In his book Trigger Happy, writer Steven Poole suggested Pac-Man was a precursor to survivor horror games such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill due to its confined, maze-like map, supernatural enemies and emphasis on evasion.
29. In corporate parlance, “the Pac-Man defence” is a strategy in which a company targeted for a hostile takeover attempts to turn the tables and purchase the acquirer.
30. Ms Pac-Man is widely considered a better game than Pac-Man, due to the more varied maze design and improved ghost AI.
31. However, it is most remembered for the image on the side of the game cabinet, which depicts Ms Pac-Man with high heels, red lipstick and fluttering eyelashes, making her the decade’s most bizarre and confusing sex symbol. And, bearing in mind we’re talking about the 80s, that’s really saying something.

Unlikely sex symbol … Ms Pac-Man
32. In the Friends episode The One Where Joey Dates Rachel, Phoebe gives Chandler and Monica a pristine Ms Pac-Man cabinet as a late wedding present – a generous gift as it would have cost about $2,500.
33. Namco has regularly attempted to update and expand the Pac-Man concept. Sometimes this has worked (scrolling platformers Pac-Land and Pac in Time, and the isometrically viewed Pac-Mania); sometimes it really hasn’t (risible party game Pac-Man Fever and mystifying off-road driving sim Pac-Man World Rally).
34. Pac-Man has also appeared as a playable guest character in many other games, including Everybody’s Golf, Mario Kart Arcade GP and Street Fighter X Tekken. He stars as the world’s cutest racing car in Ridge Racer Type 4.
35. Swiss tech company ClearSpace is developing a satellite capable of orbiting Earth and gobbling up space junk. The project leader nicknamed it “the Pac-Man system”.
36. In 2004, New York University students created a real-world version of Pac-Man entitled Pac-Manhattan, in which a player dressed as Pac-Man had to run around the city avoiding students dressed as ghosts. The game used mobile phone GPS signals to track their positions.
37. French street artist Invader has created several mosaic works featuring the Pac-Man character and ghosts, notably in Paris and Bilbao.
38. For his spring/summer 2009 collection, fashion designer Giles Deacon dressed the models in gigantic Pac-Man helmets and had dots painted along the runway.
39. In 2012, Pac-Man was one of 14 video games brought into the collection at MoMA in New York and displayed in its architecture and design gallery.
40. Toru Iwatani returned to Pac-Man in 2007, co-designing the brilliant Xbox title Pac-Man Championship Edition, which adds a time limit and an endlessly transforming maze layout. It was a fitting end to his Pac-Man odyssey.

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Forrester Research- Top 10 Facts Tech Leaders Should Know About Cloud Migration- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

Read Article
Did you know despite the misunderstandings prevalent around migration today, 75%* of non-cloud apps are estimated to migrate to cloud environments over the next three years?
Wondering if cloud migration is what your business needs? Absolutely! It empowers you to capitalise on post-migration opportunities while introducing capabilities to enhance user experience.
If you are looking to accelerate business and drive growth, you need a robust strategy to kickstart your modernisation journey with migration to the cloud today! Read the Forrester report to know how.
*The enterprise outlook on cloud native development, IBM Cloud, Sep 2018

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AI Image Recognition in Marketing: All the Facts – Blog – 10 minute

AI isn’t a new trend in marketing. Complex algorithms have been applied to budget allocation, task automation, and performance analysis before, but now this kind of tech is slowly but surely moving into the creative field of marketing.
This isn’t a small deal, and it’s going to change our careers forever. It will transform what it truly means to be a marketer.
Here’s everything you need to know about AI image and object recognition in marketing:
What Is AI Image Recognition? 
In its basic definition, AI image recognition is a set of algorithms that have the ability to identify patterns in the images it analyzes on an individual pixel level. It can learn from those patterns and even improve its accuracy and speed in identifying them over time.
The AI requires training on billions of photos to learn all the possible elements of any image, photo, or video content. It ultimately leads to an instant ability to recognize objects in millions of images. 
The implications of this are huge, especially for marketers. 
How Is AI Image Recognition Used in Marketing?
The short answer is that it’s making the lives of marketers vastly easier, in part by speeding up the entire process of content ideation, creation, and simply getting good content ideas out to market.
And as a bonus, that’s all achieved with a layer of confidence that those ideas will actually vibe with the audience. Here are a few very practical applications of image recognition:
Visual Trend Recognition
Every marketer knows that hours go into content trend analysis every week, month, and quarter. It’s often the slowest part of the entire content creation process.
It’s also hardly ever backed by any real evidence that supports the content ideas brought to the table. As marketers, we often work on a hunch.
What AI image recognition replaces is the tedious process of sifting through hundreds of images either on Google or manually going through social media campaigns online to find and save the best ideas.
The selection process that is usually driven by your gut feelings is replaced with AI’s ability to identify exactly what you’re looking for and pick out the best examples from the lot, examples that have already been tested and have been successful. 
What’s important is what happens in the background of that search. While you as a marketer can only sift through maybe 100 to 200 posts and pick out ideas based on mere intuition, AI can pull the images or videos out of millions of examples and organize them based on specific trends.
Whether it’s a certain mood, color, scenery, or the objects featured in the images, it’s all organized for you instantly. It makes the ideation part of the workflow so much faster and adds a layer of data to guide your content decisions.

Logo Recognition
The implications of AI logo recognition in images are immense for brand marketers, especially when it comes to accurately measuring the effectiveness of sponsorship deals.
Currently, brand marketers are primarily measuring their sponsorship results based on surveys, statistical data provided by the event organizers themselves, or the data on the coverage of those events through TV or online broadcasts. What’s usually missing is knowing how much more brand lift you gained from your sponsorship through the event coverage on social media – a channel that is a huge slice of the pie. 
AI logo recognition allows marketers to instantly calculate how much more exposure their brand gets from their logo being visible in the images or videos shared across social channels. 
This is only the first application; you can add to the list items like influencer marketing, brand loyalty, and brand recognition.
What’s key to takeaway is that this is not something you can actually do manually. You simply wouldn’t know where to turn or how to properly calculate it, but with AI this is a click-of-a-button process.
Interest Recognition
The end goal for all marketers is to understand what our audiences truly care about. It is the core of every strategy and campaign.
In this sense, every puzzle piece to building a full picture of the consumer is invaluable.
With the new AI-Vision image recognition technology from Socialbakers, you can use AI to find images based on your actual marketing persona interests – personas that are defined by the platform based on your own first-party data.
This is the kind of innovation that does change marketing. It redefines how we approach content creation for our audiences.
It is no longer a process of endless guesswork until we narrow it down to an idea that, fingers-crossed, will work. It’s a synergy between the accuracy of AI and the creativity of a marketer.
What Does This Mean for Careers in Marketing? 
Over the last decade, marketers have seen the required skillset to successfully do their jobs shift vastly. We went through a process of mapping attribution, developing the skills to read data (now essential to every marketer), and skills to apply data to strategy. 
We’re now cautiously entering a different area, that of creativity. While it may take a second to let go of the practices and habits we’ve built over a long time in this area, there is little doubt that those creative marketers that are able to readily equip AI as part of their toolbox will not only be able to bring about the best ideas but likely skip miles ahead of what we thought possible creatively.
The Takeaway
It may be hard to believe, but this is only the start of a chapter. At least that’s what it looks like when we look at the Socialbakers roadmap ahead.
As AI becomes an underlying layer of assistance in every aspect of our marketing, from data analysis to content creation to customer care, we’ll see entire organizations transform. We may be starting to see a 4-day weekday ahead.Read more about how AI is used in marketing in our previous blog post.

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WHO and Rakuten join forces to educate public on coronavirus facts- Tempemail – Blog – 10 minute

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Rakuten Viber have joined forces to fight misinformation around coronavirus (Covid-19) with an interactive multi-language chatbot available globally.
Misinformation, rumors and conspiracies about the outbreak have emerged as the coronavirus continues its spread across the world, forcing the likes of Facebook, Google and Twitter to introduce measures to combat bad actors.
The bot aims to combat fake news and false information about the virus and assist people who are looking for accurate health information. It is available in English, Arabic, Russian and highlights the most commonly asked questions and the latest news related to the pandemic.
The ‘Latest News’ section is updated in real-time straight from WHO’s website and into the palm of your hand. Other main sections include ‘Protect Yourself’, ‘Mask usage’, ‘Travel recommendations’ and an interactive ‘Myths’ quiz to test the knowledge of the virus.
The ‘Donate Now’ button prompts users to support the WHO fight against the pandemic through donating to the Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
“WHO aims to reach as many people as possible with reliable health information through innovative digital technology. Information is power and can help save lives during this pandemic,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the WHO.
Djamel Agaoua, the chief executive of Rakuten Viber added: “We’re helping people stay connected while also assisting local and global government and healthcare agencies around the world to offer critical updates and to combat misinformation. Rakuten Viber and WHO are working together to help individuals and communities stay informed and healthy during this challenging time. Use the chatbot yourself, support and protect your relatives by sharing it with them. Digital is safe.”
Facebook recently created a Corona Helpdesk Chatbot on its Messenger platform in India to raise awareness, provide authentic and accurate information in order to debunk fake news about coronavirus.

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The Most Important TikTok Facts Marketers Need to Know – Blog – 10 minute

This is also felt among marketers. It only takes a second to check Google Trends to see that marketers are starting to sense that they need a real TikTok strategy. What further validates TikTok’s place among the apps we take seriously is the duration the app has now been with us. Few platforms actually make it past the two years mark – enough time has now passed for us to see the social proof we need.

To be frank, if you’re considering giving TikTok a real chance, you’re late to the game. There are already plenty of early adopters of the platform, and there are many success stories as well. Brands like Chipotle, Sony Pictures, Too Faced, whether it’s directly or through influencer marketing, have already reaped benefits from the platform.
Although for the veteran marketers the Chipotle #GuacDance Campaign may seem completely out of this world, it received 532,388,592 views on TikTok.

TikTok Is Currently the Most Downloaded App
Since its launch, the TikTok app’s popularity has been growing at an incredible rate. In October 2018, it was the most-downloaded photo and video app in the Apple store globally. It’s expected TikTok will continue to have a strong presence in 2020 as it has officially emerged as a social media sensation, hitting one billion downloads in 2019.
But for marketers, who are really chasing the right audiences, it’s vital to consider where the app is growing. 44% of the app’s total downloads actually happened in India. If we compare it to the previous year, according to Sensor Tower, the TikTok’s overall user base has grown by 6%.

So Where Does TikTok Really Fall When We Compare It to Other Platforms?
According to the most recent survey from the Pew Research Center done in July, TikTok is still about 3% of the total social media users above 18 years old. Snapchat accounts for 23% of the same age demographic. While TikTok is growing fast, there’s still a clear gap that it needs to close. 

Source: www.emarketer.com/content/podcast-is-the-tiktok-craze-sustainableHowever, the baseline assumption in the media is that it’s the under 18-year-olds that both of the platforms are competing for. Accurate and TikTok-verified data on platform demographics isn’t easy to find. Data from App Ape Lab 2018 analysis, a company providing mobile app data and insights, showed that 21.3% of TikTok’s male users are under 20 years of age, and 18.6% of platform’s female users are under 20.

Perhaps the most accurate data we have, so far, about the TikTok audience demographics actually comes from China, where TikTok, rebranded as Douyin, shared the official numbers on their Weibo account. One-third of Douyin users are aged 20 to 24, a quarter are 25 to 29, and 20% are under 20.
So is it still an app for teenagers? Well, from the numbers, we see that’s not exactly the case which may just be the reason why TikTok is now getting real recognition from marketers. 
TikTok Is Still Finding Its Unique Place in the Market
The platform has undergone a series of important updates in the last year. Perhaps the most critical one for marketers is the ability to run ads on the service, opening a set of entirely new opportunities for paid social media.
The app is also set on connecting brands to TikTok content creators through the recently launched TikTok Creator Marketplace. This should further incentivize businesses who aren’t always sure what to do with new social media apps to turn to influencers, who’ve already learned the ropes.
The app recently banned all political advertising. In a statement, Blake Chandlee, TikTok’s VP of Global Business Solutions, who actually left Facebook for TikTok, said that the “…nature of paid political ads is not something we believe fits the TikTok platform experience.” This could separate TikTok from other platforms further – a direction that Twitter has now taken too.
TikTok’s mission is to be a “positive, refreshing environment”, its mission statement reads:
“TikTok is the leading destination for short-form mobile video. Our mission is to inspire creativity and bring joy.”But is it different enough from Snap Inc’s mission statement that, if we put aside Snap’s focus on camera technology, has a similar promise?
“Snap Inc. is a camera company. We believe that reinventing the camera represents our greatest opportunity to improve the way people live and communicate. We contribute to human progress by empowering people to express themselves, live in the moment, learn about the world, and have fun together.”
So Are TikTok and Snapchat Simply Too Similar?
Many social media apps can coexist. LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Pinterest all have clear differences between the users’ intent. Are TikTok and Snapchat simply too similar?
Debra Aho Williamson, the principal analyst at eMarketer, shared her view with CNBC that Snapchat should feel increasing competition as both apps compete for user’s time and attention.
She added that “Both apps feature vertical, short, user-generated videos. Although teens use the apps in different ways, the allure of watching and creating TikTok videos is currently very strong in this demographic group.”
Although Snapchat and TikTok may have their feature differences their user bases are very similar. Where users decide to spend their time dictates where marketers start investing budget.
During Snap’s Q3 earnings call, the platform reported that its users opened the app 30 times a day. While we don’t know how often TikTok users open theirs, Business of Apps reported the app’s Chinese counterpart Douyin users open the app four to five times a day using it for half an hour each time.
Takeaway
It’s been a long time since we’ve witnessed anything as exciting and promising as TikTok’s entry into the market. The two apps that received somewhat comparable hype in the past years were Vero and Ello, both networks that promised an ad-free experience, but didn’t get attention from marketers. TikTok has now passed that crucial wall. It has increasing opportunities to monetize the platform, and a growing user base too.
If we look at the numbers, TikTok has a lot of catching up to do, but we also see signals from TikTok users and marketers alike that they’re now ready to pay serious attention to the platform.

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In a 130-page court filing, Kik claims the SEC’s lawsuit “twists” the facts about its online token – gpgmail


CEO Ted Livingston of Kik

Kik Interactive has hit back at the Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit that claims a $100 million token sale was illegal. The company, which owns Kik Messenger, filed a 130-page response today in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging that the SEC is “twisting” the facts about its token, called Kin, and asking for an early trial date and dismissal of the complaint.

One of the key issues in the case is if Kin was just an in-app token used to buy games, digital products and other services in Kik Messenger, or if it was meant to be an investment opportunity, as the SEC alleges.

Kik’s general counsel Eileen Lyon said in a press statement that “since Kin is not itself a security, the SEC must show that it was sold in a way that violates the securities laws. The SEC had access to over 50,000 documents and took testimony from nearly 20 witnesses prior to filing its Complaint, yet it is unable to make the case that Kik’s token sale violated the securities laws without bending the facts to distort the record.”

The SEC alleges that the token sale, announced in 2017, came at a time when the company had predicted that it would run out of money after Kik Messenger had been losing money for years, and that it then used proceeds from that sale to build an online marketplace for the app.

In the filing, Kik’s legal team denied that charge, claiming that the SEC’s allegations about its financial condition “is solely designed for misdirection, thereby prejudicing Kik and portraying it in a negative light” and that Kik began working on a cryptocurrency-based model after exploring monetization options that would help it compete against larger techc companies.

They added that “Kik’s Board and Executive Team alike believed that Kin was a bold idea that could solve the monetization challenges faced by all developers (not just Kik) in the existing advertising-based economy, by changing the way people buy and sell digital products and services.”

The SEC also alleges that the sale of digital tokens to U.S. investors was illegal because Kik did not register their offer as required by United States law, even though it claims that Kik marketed Kin as an investment opportunity whose value would increase. In its response, Kik denied that it offered or sold securities, or violated federal securities laws.

In the company’s press statement, Kik CEO Ted Livingston said “The SEC tries to paint a picture that the Kin project was an act of desperation rather than the bold move that it was to win the game, and one that Kakao, Line, Telegram and Facebook have all now followed.”


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