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This entrepreneur is donating unwanted bike-sharing cycles to underprivileged students in Myanmar – TechCrunch

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What is the world to do with the graveyards of dockless bicycles left over after China’s bike sharing startups retreated from global markets?

One man has come up with the best idea to date: donate them to students who need them.

Entrepreneur Mike Than Tun Win has bought 10,000 bikes from bike-sharing companies which he plans to provide to school children across Myanmar, many of who walk miles to school and, more broadly, lack transportation for their families.

“It’s a common sight to see lines and lines of students walking long distances from home to school in rural villages,” Than explained. “Some students can walk up to one hour from home to school and the families can hardly afford a simple form of transport like bicycle or motorcycle… a school bus is almost unheard of to the students in rural villages.”

To bridge the gap, Than — whose companies include tech entrepreneurship project 8bod.com and travel startup flymya.com — created a non-profit organization called LessWalk which is buying up the bikes and making them suitable for students.

That means fitting them with a second seat, switching the QR code-scan lock for a regular key lock and then shipping them to Myanmar. Many of the bikes have been bought from liquidators — who took control of oBike’s shuttered business in Singapore and inherited Ofo’s abandoned fleets — which makes their acquisition cheaper than regular bikes. But still, the fixes and shipping costs are estimated at around $35-$40 per bike.

FreeWalk is modifying bikes to make them suitable for underprivileged students who walk to school in Myanmar

Than described those prices as “a rare once in a lifetime opportunity” to make a positive impact, but there’s still a significant cost attached to the project.

Than told TechCrunch that the project is funded with around $400,000 in capital, half of which has come from donations and sponsors with Than himself providing the rest.

Suddenly, there was an opportunity to buy [these bikes] at fraction of price,” he said in an interview. “The benefit it can develop is well beyond that cost.”

Right now, Than said that he has received around 4,000 bikes, which are currently warehoused in Myanmar. Rather than sad, well-used or damaged cycles, LessWalk has bought itself unused, new-generation products that hadn’t been deployed to the streets. Once sitting in a warehouse awaiting a rollout with startups, the adapted bikes will be distributed to students this year.

LessWalk has around 4,000 former bike sharing cycles in its warehouse in Myanmar

But giving out thousands of bicycles is no easy feat given that Myanmar has a population of over 50 million people and more than nine million students.

Than said he’s currently in contact with government organizations and civic groups in Myanmar to identify potential beneficiaries. The primary focus is students aged 13-16 who walk 2km or more to school each day and part of families without transport. He envisages that bikes will be given out in batches every two weeks for two or three months with support from volunteer groups and the government, but a lot of the operational approach is still to be defined.

“I’m only halfway through the journey. The remaining 50 percent is making sure we have an impact,” Than told TechCrunch.

Volunteers from LessWalk move former Ofo bikes into storage ahead of their distribution to students in Myanmar

Further down the line, he is hopeful that he can inspire “global friends” to follow his lead and set up similar donation programs that will put the hundreds of thousands of abandoned bikes to work, instead of creating yet more urban trash. Already, Than said he is fielding interest from Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.

Donations aren’t the only sustainable future for fleets of former Mobike and Ofo bikes, in some cases the people who ran the services are taking control. Indeed, a number of Mobike executives got together to buy out the company’s European business from Meituan — the on-demand giant that owns Mobike — for $20 million. That deal is scheduled to close this month.

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Here’s How You Can Create Your Own Ebook In Microsoft Word

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After the last page of your main content, you should add an “About the Author” page. This is where you include fun things about yourself, your career highlights, and even other eBooks you’ve written in the past. It’s also a good idea to mention your social media links and website, so your readers can find you online easily.

When writing your author content, Rocket Expansion suggests using a tone that matches your brand. It could be witty, formal, fun, or anything else that reflects your eBook topic and previous work. For instance, if you’re writing about the stock market, you should use a formal tone. If you’re a fiction writer, use a witty and fun tone instead.

You might also want to add a picture to your author page. To do that in Microsoft Word, here are the steps to follow (via Microsoft):

  1. Click on your author page.
  2. Go to the Insert tab.
  3. In the Illustrations section, select Pictures > This Device.
  4. Locate the photo you want to add.
  5. Select Insert.
  6. Resize the photo how you want by dragging the corners.
  7. Crop and style the photo using the styles available in the “Picture Styles” section.
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24% Of Apple Fans Think This Is The Best New Feature Of The MacOS Ventura

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With more than 25.08% of the votes, a slim majority of our poll respondents chose the newfound ability to generate live captions within a FaceTime call as their favorite macOS Ventura feature. For those unaware, this feature automatically generates captions and transcribes them on screen — making it easy for everyone to follow the conversation. The feature seems to be a hot favorite among Apple users despite the fact that it is still in Beta and that it only supports a limited set of languages.

One of the major feature additions to the Mail app on macOS Ventura is the ability to undo sending an email. With 24.26% of our respondents voting for this as their favorite, it is evident that it’s a welcome feature. However, in the default setting, users will need to click on the “Undo Send” option at the bottom of the sidebar of the Mail app within 10 seconds of sending an email for it to work. Thankfully, users have the option to change this time duration from within Mail settings.

In the third position — with 19.31% of the votes — was the much talked about Continuity Camera feature, which lets Mac users transform their iPhones into a webcam. While the main purpose of the feature was to enhance the video conferencing capabilities of Mac systems using the iPhone’s powerful camera hardware, Continuity Camera was mostly in the news because of a nifty new feature called “Desk Mode.” This mode used the iPhone’s ultra wide-angle camera to show a top-down view of the desk and the users’ faces simultaneously.

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Vietnamese Automaker’s EV Shipment Is Big Competition For The US

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Bloomberg reports that VinFast is exporting 999 electric vehicles to the U.S. market. The electric vehicles were dispatched on Nov. 25, and they’re expected to arrive in California right around Christmas. The specific model that is en route to the U.S. is the VinFast VF 8 — a 402 hp electric SUV with a battery range of 292 miles. This is similar to the VF 32 model that was unveiled last year. With a price tag of about $41,000, the VinFast VF 8 will be competing with the likes of the Volkwagen ID.4, Tesla Model Y, and Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Another model, the VinFast VF 9, is scheduled to be shipped out from Vietnam in January. But unlike the VF 8, the VF 9 model will include a bigger battery to increase the range up to 342 miles after a full charge. Just like the VF 32 model that was unveiled last year, the VF 9 is designed with all-wheel drive dual electric motors to optimize performance. All VinFast electric vehicles that will be sold in the U.S. will have a battery warranty of 125,000 miles or 10 years.

However, the VinFast VF 8 and VF 9 will not qualify for the new tax credit because they’re not assembled in North America. Then again, VinFast is working to solve that problem since it’s building an electric vehicle manufacturing plant in North Carolina. “As soon as we start manufacturing cars in the U.S., our customers will be eligible (for) the tax incentive,” Le Thi Thu Thuy, the CEO of VinFast told Reuters. The Vietnamese company has also received about 65,000 pre-orders from the international market, and 17,000 bookings from the U.S. 

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