Hugh Hefner, iconic founder of Playboy, has died at age 91

  • Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner dies at the Playboy Mansion at age 91.
  • “He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history,” son Cooper says.

Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, died Wednesday at his Beverly Hills-area home, the Playboy Mansion, at age 91.

Playboy Enterprises said he died of natural causes.

The magazine was founded more than 60 years ago and created a niche upscale men’s magazine, combining images of nude women with in-depth articles, interviews and fiction by writers and subjects including Norman Mailer, Alex Haley, Bertrand Russell and Jimmy Carter.

Hefner reportedly founded the magazine with $600 and $1,000 borrowed from his mother. The first centerfold, a feature of the monthly magazine, was of Marilyn Monroe late in 1953.

“My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom,” Cooper Hefner, Playboy Enterprises’ chief creative officer, said in the statement.

“He defined a lifestyle and ethos that lie at the heart of the Playboy brand, one of the most recognizable and enduring in history,” the son added.

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The Tech for Integrity Challenge Announces Final Awards

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Tech for Integrity Challenge (T4I), a landmark effort to encourage technology innovators from around the world to create cutting-edge solutions to promote integrity, accountability and transparency in the public sector and beyond, announced final awards for the competition today in Washington, D.C.

The awards were announced at an event hosted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to highlight the crucial role technology can play in tackling corruption around the world. The awards represent the culmination of T4I, a global open innovation competition in which companies of various types and sizes submitted technology solutions.

The initiative, led by Citi in collaboration with public and private sector allies, sought to source innovation in a number of areas, including government transactions and procurement; culture, ethics and citizen engagement; cutting red tape; and information security and identity. The T4I strategic allies include Clifford Chance, Facebook, IBM, Let’s Talk Payments, Mastercard, Microsoft and PwC.

In addition to awards presented at the six Demo Days in May and June, where 96 finalists presented their ideas, the T4I strategic allies today announced their own awards to companies that offered solutions that merited additional recognition. The Challenge also presented three additional overall awards, including the James Wolfensohn Game Changer Award for the most scalable, implementable and innovative solution.

T4I Final Awards

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance is providing dedicated legal advice to six finalists, where international legal and regulatory insight has the greatest potential to support their development.

“We are excited to be working with AID:Tech, CARTO, DigiByte Holdings,, Tradle and SQREEM Technologies,” said Malcolm Sweeting, Senior Partner, Clifford Chance. “They are the best at what they do and, like all pioneers, they are pushing new boundaries. We look forward to working with them to overcome the legal and regulatory hurdles they may face and bring their innovations to a wider audience.”


IBM is awarding up to $120,000 of IBM Cloud credits and services, through the IBM Global Entrepreneur Program (GEP), to each of the following award recipients from the Demo Days that meet the program’s basic criteria:

Abu Dhabi: 360ofme
Buenos Aires:
Hyderabad: Docswallet
Mexico City: CityGrows
Singapore: Chekk

The IBM GEP will provide each award recipient with access to IBM technology such as IoT and blockchain, in addition to community support and learning resources. Additionally, they will be highlighted in the IBM Global Leader of Digital Government Transformation Marquis Cabrera’s Hacking Government column with

For the overall award recipient,, IBM will conduct a private workshop with industry leaders and experts who will provide additional mentorship and access to key stakeholders in support of further development of their solution.


Mastercard has selected AID:Tech to receive a $50,000 award and ongoing support and mentorship as it works to scale its business.

AID:Tech is an award-winning company that focuses on the delivery of ”digital entitlements,” such as welfare, humanitarian aid and remittances based on end beneficiaries’ digital identity. AID:Tech was the first company in the world to deliver international aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon using blockchain technology. Focusing on providing innovative solutions to governments and corporates, the AID:Tech platform is helping its clients achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

A key focal point for the continued engagement with AID:Tech will be the Mastercard Lab for Financial Inclusion. Based in Nairobi, Kenya, the Lab innovates new technologies and solutions to further Mastercard’s commitment to connect 500 million people previously excluded from formal financial services.

“We are impressed by AID:Tech’s vision and our shared mission to do well and do good,” said Deborah Barta, Senior Vice President of Innovation Management and Startup Engagement, Mastercard. “We believe that together we can improve access to and use of formal financial services, which will ultimately deliver more inclusive social and economic growth around the world. Mastercard Labs is excited by the opportunity to further explore synergies with AID:Tech as a result of our engagement during the T4I Challenge.”


“We have been pleased to support the T4I Challenge and are delighted to celebrate the award recipients at this ceremony,” said Toni Townes-Whitley, Corporate Vice President of Industry at Microsoft Corp. “Corruption prevents societies and individuals from reaching their full potential. Through the power of cloud platforms and development tools, the participants have built solutions that counter these challenges through trusted, inclusive and transparent digital services. We are pleased to recognize the best of the best – the most creative and innovative solutions.”

Microsoft is pleased to announce its T4I Challenge Strategic Ally award recipients.

Microsoft is awarding the Microsoft BizSpark+ Award to finalists from across the Demo Days. This award represents a full Microsoft BizSpark Plus membership, or an upgrade to an existing BizSpark membership, providing recipients with up to $120,000 of free Microsoft Azure cloud services over a two-year term. The selected award recipients, by Demo Day, are as follows:

Abu Dhabi: from Nigeria, with its solution for Electronic Ticketing, Nultan
Buenos Aires: from Mexico, with its Government Engagement Platform, Negocios Digitales
Dublin: from the UK, with its risk-management tracking solution, Pole Star
Mexico City: from Mexico, with its Business Transaction Monitor, Lefort
Singapore: from Indonesia, with its Personal Data Ownership solution, Chekk

In addition, Microsoft has selected finalists to receive the Microsoft Go-To-Market Award, which provides a range of services, including co-marketing materials and activities, Microsoft app marketplace promotions and catalogue listing. The selected award recipients of the Go-To-Market Award are:

Wallet.Services, an Abu Dhabi finalist from the UK, with its application for licenses and permits for citizens and business to help deal with the often confusing, opaque and time-consuming paper-based interactions. The solution focuses on control and management for the full life cycle of licenses, grants, tickets or permits and new services.
CityGrows, a Mexico City finalist from the United States, with its workflow and transparency platform that helps local governments transition away from inefficient paper processes, using online processes on a cloud-based platform. This low-cost model provides automatic open data, building trust and transparency through increased public access to government information.

And finally, Microsoft has also chosen two finalists for entry into the Microsoft Accelerator program. The Microsoft Accelerator Award provides the award recipients with a four to five month tailor-made accelerator program for market-ready startups looking to go beyond the development of their product by scaling their business. The award recipients will access additional support for marketing, financing and building their go-to-market strategy, starting with the next Cohort intakes. The selected award recipients are:

Quantexa, a Dublin finalist from the UK, with its financial crime resolution software, an innovative data solution that drives enhanced Know Your Customer (KYC) in financial institutions and more broadly across the related Financial Services industry.
Docswallet, a Hyderabad finalist from India, with its document vault solution for digitally certified documents for visa applications, employment, higher studies and trade applications. The solution eliminates the exchange of paper and creates trust for digital documents shared between organizations and individuals.

Let’s Talk Payments (LTP)

Let’s Talk Payments selected SQREEM for its MEDICI live! Award, which recognizes the most promising startup worthy of the full support of the LTP innovation ecosystem.

“Our mission for the FinTech industry is to provide all ecosystem participants the research, connectivity and engagement tools for collaborative innovation. SQREEM impressed us with its own mission of using data for actionable insights to serve the FinTech industry. With the MEDICI live! Award, we are very pleased to award SQREEM the very best of what our FinTech market network has to offer,” said Aditya Khurjekar, CEO of LTP, sharing his enthusiasm in supporting the T4I program as a strategic ally, while he announced SQREEM as the recipient of the exclusive LTP award.


“PwC is proud to continue our involvement with the Tech for Integrity Challenge as it aligns with PwC’s Purpose – to build trust in society and solve important problems. Our team has seen the success such events have in surfacing up and curating innovators with creative solutions to address today’s most pressing global problems,” said David Hoffman, Global Banking and Capital Markets Leader at PwC.

Overall T4I Awards

The James Wolfensohn Game Changer Award was presented to AID:Tech for its solution to bring social and financial inclusion to the world’s undocumented and under-served populations using digital identity based on blockchain technology.

Additionally, the Catalyst Award was given to SQREEM and the Accelerator Award to Taiger and Trulioo.

“We are extremely proud of what Citi, our allies and our talented finalists accomplished through the Tech for Integrity Challenge,” said Julie Monaco, Global Head of the Public Sector Group in Citi’s Corporate and Investment Banking division. “T4I produced some incredibly innovative and promising ideas, and we look forward to the next phase of the Challenge as we all work together to develop these solutions and ultimately take some of them to market.”

“T4I clearly shows the power of crowdsourcing and open innovation as tools to address large-scale social challenges,” said Jay Collins, Vice Chairman of Corporate and Investment Banking at Citi. “This Challenge represents one of the largest public-private partnerships yet aimed at a specific Sustainable Development Goal. We are grateful for the support of our partners and look forward to working with governments and finalists to implement these integrity solutions.”

For more details on the Tech for Integrity Challenge, please refer to the T4I website:


Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.

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Heineken Just Put Out The Antidote to That Pepsi Kendall Jenner Ad

Two strangers with polar opposite views meet in this Heineken ad, which gets political in a way that Pepsi would do well to consider next time.

WHAT: “World’s Apart,” a new Heineken ad that involves some frank conversations between people with differing views.

WHO: Agency Publicis London

WHY WE CARE: Earlier this month, Pepsi tried to walk in step with the #Resistance, and ended up falling on its face. Hard. The company’s tone-deaf ad–which used Black Lives Matter iconography and Kendall Jenner to suggest that carbonated beverages can heal America’s wounds–inspired such a seething backlash it was pulled almost instantly, and savagely parodied. It would’ve been a fine time for Coca-Cola to step up and deliver a perfectly calibrated topical ad, thereby eating Pepsi’s lunch. In truth, though, Coke had to do absolutely nothing to achieve the same result. Instead, Heineken has come along a couple weeks later with an ad that gets to the heart of political engagement in a straightforward way that makes Pepsi’s self-congratulatory ad seem even more embarrassing.

The main political problem in post-Brexit UK, as well as post-Trump America, is the depth of our division. People with opposite views believe in their own opinions so vehemently, they’re convinced everyone on the other side is practically from a different species. Making matters worse, these people from opposing sides rarely get to meet each other outside of Twitter @-replies, which are among the most contentious places to be on the planet. In Heineken’s “Worlds Apart” experiment, complete strangers who have been selected for their political opinions, but not told what the experiment entails, are matched up and made to converse. The climate change denier meets face-to-face with the environmental doomsayer, and both are made to hear out their respective views. Other issues explored throughout the ad include feminism and transgender rights. This kind of heady material is impossible to fully explore in a meaningful way within the space of a beer commercial. However, encouraging actual dialogue is a thousand times more of a mature and responsible way to address our current international predicament than glamorizing, fetishizing, and whitewashing the protest movement.

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California Crops Rot as Immigration Crackdown Creates Farmworker Shortage

Vegetable prices may be going up soon, as a shortage of migrant workers is resulting in lost crops in California.

Farmers say they’re having trouble hiring enough people to work during harvest season, causing some crops to rot before they can be picked. Already, the situation has triggered losses of more than $13 million in two California counties alone, according to NBC News.

The ongoing battle about U.S. immigration policies is blamed for the shortage. The vast majority of California’s farm workers are foreign born, with many coming from Mexico. However, the PEW Research Center reports more Mexicans are leaving the U.S. than coming here.

To make the jobs more attractive, farmers are offering salaries above minimum wage, along with paid time off and 401(k) plans, but even that’s not proving enough.

It’s unclear exactly how widespread the labor shortage is for farmers throughout the country, which would have a bigger impact on prices consumers pay. Ultimately, drought and flooding have a more significant impact on farms. Low oil prices could also offset any impact of the worker shortage.

But for farmers, who have seen net farm income fall 50% since 2013, any lost income could be potentially devastating.

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