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Demystifying the Darknet: All you need to know about the underground internet

Ever heard of the Darknet? The new digital Wild West, whose mere name is so packed with mystery that it must be something weird and dangerous beyond human understanding? Well, I’ve been researching it for several years and the mystery has pretty much dissolved. What’s left is the excitement of this virtual, ever changing, ever pulsating world.

The Darknet is sometimes perceived as an out of control and dangerous misuse of unbreakable encryption that leaves the police helpless to solve crimes. Based on powerful tools like the anonymous Tor Browser and Bitcoin, the Darknet is often described as the ”dark underbelly of the Internet”. News anchors refer to spaces created with Darknet technology as a sickening dens of criminals, terrorists and perverts.

My view was similar when I started my own research of the Darknet. But labelling the Darknet only as the new criminal underworld just does not make sense. It’s so much more. Let’s have a look.

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Super Suomi: 16 Finnish startups that could change the world in 2016

Much has been said about the Finnish startup scene. Finnish entrepreneurs come in many shapes and forms. But the basic story remains that there’s a lot of human capital freed up after the swan song of Nokia, while new talent keeps brewing in our country’s tuition-free higher education system.

So, to get a better idea of what’s cooking in Finland right now, we’ve spent some time studying the scene. Now, we can present our list of super interesting Finnish companies, with varying levels of funding and progress, which we think will make waves (or even bigger waves) in 2016.

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The 6 essential requirements for successful marketing partnerships

I can’t say I’ve read The Odyssey, but I think Homer nailed it when he wrote:

“There is nothing more … admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends”

And the reason I think this is right is it could easily be rewritten for business:

“There is nothing more profitable than when two companies who see eye to eye do business as partners, confounding their competitors and delighting their consumers”

And so to get a ‘profitable’ Marketing Partnership (whether financially, brand health or both), there are some simple, practical ways to help you identify suitable candidates and increase your chances of avoiding the adolescent pain of a lonely walk home at the end of a night out.

I’ve pulled together a list of six measures that I have found useful. It’s not exhaustive, as every partnership is unique, but it’s a good start and a way to bring your ‘Blink’ instinct together with a framework for analysis.

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A Winter’s Tale: How Finland conquered the games industry

“What’s in the water?” As a Finn, I have heard this a lot regarding the multitude of Finnish-made games topping the charts of the app stores of the world.

But what many people don’t realise is that the Finnish game industry existed long before the mobile boom. Since the 1980s, there has been a steady stream of ambitious computer and console games coming from veteran Finnish companies like Housemarque and Remedy Entertainment.

Sadly, nobody really noticed the Finnish factor back then. Only after the relatively recent success of mobile game studios such as Rovio (Angry Birds) and Supercell (Clash of Clans, Hay Day)  was international interest sparked. Besides these giants, games like Hill Climb Racing and Badlands, by Fingersoft and Frogmind Games respectively, have quietly attracted huge audiences on mobile. Typically these games are simple yet elegant, with a distinct art or play style, and crafted by small teams.

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Join our Xmas challenge: give the gift of online privacy

As 2015 draws to a close, the state of the internet challenges the idea of any of us having meaningful privacy, ever again. That’s where projects like the Tor Anonymous Network come in, making it still possible to use the internet without oversight. As a Christmas gesture and a gift to other writers who live in oppressive countries around the world, we at Ink Tank Media have launched a Tor relay server. Now we challenge other companies to do the same or to make a donation to the Tor Project.

The free Tor software works by bouncing its users’ traffic around the world between relay servers like ours, wrapped with several layers of strong encryption. Tor can be used by anyone: for journalists and political activists under oppressive regimes, it’s a lifesaver. But it is, and will be, handy for every single one of us. With the current state of online privacy, it’s getting impossible to assume that a law-abiding citizen in a Western democracy will never need the privacy provided by Tor. Here’s a video on how Tor works:

 
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A/B testing for Mad Scientists, Part 1: Human test subjects

Years ago, I landed an interview for a sales position at a company. When the company’s CEO wanted to know what I’d like to do in the future I answered avidly: ”Sales and Marketing mathematics”. The CEO was, to say the least, overwhelmed. I thought I’d never get the job, but I did. And now, fifteen years later, I still love both sales and marketing mathematics.

Since I got that job, this whole thing about shopping on the Internet happened. And it turns out that finding and retaining customers in this environment has everything to do with combining sales, marketing and mathematics with user experience design.

One of the ways  to do this is through something called A/B testing. As people in the know would love to tell you, A/B testing has to do with how Internet companies evolve their products. By giving billions of users different buttons to click. Or something.

But you’re not Facebook or Google, so why should you care?

Well, if you sell stuff, the answer involves more money, for you. So please allow me to enlighten you. I love sales, marketing and math, after all.

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How to get karma on Reddit in 10 easy steps

If you’ve spent time on Reddit, then you already know it’s a great place to learn, discuss, and laugh. However, you probably also know that it can be tough to navigate both the etiquette and features of the website.

One such feature that confuses many redditors is karma, imaginary internet points that you can “earn” with good content submissions and comments. If a redditor likes a comment or post, they upvote it, if they dislike, they downvote it. A redditor’s karma score is basically the total upvotes they’ve been granted by other redditors minus the total downvotes they’ve received, with two separate scores for comment karma (comments on links) and link karma (link submissions to articles and images). Yes, karma is meaningless. But we humans tend to crave social acceptance, and it’s incredibly satisfying to rack up thousands of karma points!

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How to launch a super successful startup: exclusive tips from Wolt

It might be a disheartening fact that 90% of startups fail, but hey, that also means that 10% of them succeed. Finnish food delivery company Wolt, recently named by Wired as one of Europe’s hottest 100 startups, is currently riding high and looks to become one of the latter. “We’re getting double digit weekly growth and breaking our sales records every other day,” says Juhani Mykkänen, Wolt’s Co-founder. How did they do it and what advice do they have for other startups aiming to conquer the world? Here are Mykkänen’s top five tips.

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Could this Finnish tech by Foller be the answer to global food waste?

It’s an exciting week for Foller, the Finnish startup formed in order to enter the Elisa iOT Innovation Challenge in April this year. The results of the competition are out in Slush on Thursday November 12th, and we here at Ink Tank Media are certainly rooting for them. Why? Because Foller is tackling an issue that’s been troubling us for… well, forever. Food waste.

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How to get the most out of Slush 2015: An insider’s guide

What attracts big names in high tech business, engineering and investment communities around the globe to Helsinki? In November?

Well, they’re not here for the weather or to see the daylight start to fade at 3 PM. Rather, the gravitating forces behind this pilgrimage is Slush Helsinki, a growing and exciting technology conference, which takes place on November 11th to 12th this year.

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