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Meal service Blue Apron bombed its IPOand it may be Amazon’s fault

A Blue Apron box waits to be opened on a kitchen counter.
Image: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

A giant wall of lettuce, crates of vegetables, and gourmet food stands adorned the front of the New York Stock Exchange building on Thursday morning as meal delivery service Blue Apron celebrated its debut on the trading floor.

Produce-related festivities aside, enthusiasm for the once hotly anticipated public offering has wilted in the past couple days as the company lowered its target opening stock price from between $15 and $17 to just $10.

A stale day of trading that left shares stagnant at a time when young companies usually look for fresh momentum didn’t do much to lift the mood among investors.

What’s to blame for this sudden change of spirits? The prime suspect is the monster marriage of Amazon and Whole Foods, the shockwaves of which have been felt by nearly every retailer that’s ever touched an organic carrot.

“Amazon/Whole Foods is the elephant in the room,” said Goodwater Capital managing partner Eric Kim. “Blue Apron will be under intense scrutiny as to how they intend to create a sustainable moat around their business.”

Blue Apron’s troubles don’t stop and start with Amazon, of course. But the emergence of a new threat to the company’s business model may have thrown into sharper relief some of the other potential red flags lurking in its financials.

Founded in 2012, Blue Apron set itself apart from the rest of the subscription delivery boom with a business plan based around home cooking. Customers sign up to receive weekly bundles of meal kits stocked with pre-apportioned ingredients for a price that comes out to around $10 per serving.

It made a name for itself with heavy marketing spend fans of most major podcasts have probably heard a host sing its praises more than once.

By the standards of money-burning tech startups, the company has done pretty well for itself, according to balance sheets revealed in its IPO filing. Revenue has grown explosively nearly tenfold in the last two years alone and it even managed to turn a profit one quarter.

Elsewhere though, there were enough disconcerting signs to give some analysts pause. Stagnating customer growth and widening losses suggest that the marketing spend needed to bring in each new sign-up is on the rise (there are only so many podcast listeners in the world).

And the customers they do have aren’t choosing to eat more. The average order value per customer hasn’t grown in two years, and it’s actually starting to decline.

A Goodwater Capital survey of more than 2,600 consumers found that current Blue Apron subscribers planned to increase and decrease their usage of the service in about equal number 42 percent and 44 percent each. Those numbers stacked up less favorably than every conceivable competitor on which the firm also polled respondents.

“Blue Aprons growth and success depend heavily on customer and order growth,” Kim said. “High customer churn … might require high levels of marketing and incentive or promotion expenses to offset this churn.”

Meanwhile, Amazon was the clear favorite among consumers who took the survey. A whopping nine out of 10 said they planned to shop there more, while less than 7 percent said the opposite. On its heels was its own AmazonFresh grocery delivery service with a split of 64 percent intending to up usage to 22 percent planning a decrease.

To be clear, even Amazon’s grocery arm doesn’t currently offer a full-scale service on par with Blue Apron’s DIY meal model though similar kits from third parties like Tyson Tastemakers are available in some AmazonFresh markets. But it wouldn’t be much of a stretch once the company has access to hundreds of Whole Foods locations, which could also serve as distribution centers.

The other question is how much of a premium shoppers are ultimately willing to pay for the convenience of having their groceries meted out into recipe-specific baggies and their weekly meals planned. Blue Apron’s success suggests that premium is substantial a study from NDP Group last week found that meal kits cost on average more than twice the price of shopping for yourself and around the same as eating out.

But at a certain set of price points, one would assume that the work of sorting and chopping your own onions becomes worth the trouble, especially if your grocery list is already shipped to your door anyway.

Will the new customers Blue Apron needs to appease Wall Street fork up for the same premium? As the company shifts its marketing spend from podcasts to global TV commercials, it will probably need to make the case to a wider audience beyond its metropolitan-millennial-heavy base. And if the last few months are any indication, it will likely rack up heavy losses doing so.

Losing money is par for the course for fast-growing tech companies, but Blue Apron’s lackluster IPO may suggest that Wall Street is losing patience with Silicon Valley’s high-rolling margins.

The company was originally hoping its stock exchange debut could vault it to a valuation of $3 billion from the $2 billion it claimed in its most recent private funding round. Instead, it slashed that expectation entirely on the eve of the offering, making it one of only 4 percent of internet companies to have downgraded forecasts ahead of an IPO this decade, according to CNBC.

The stock then proceeded to hover at the lower end of those lowered expectations on its first trading day; it opened at $10 and closed at the same price before drifting slightly lower in after-hours trading.

Amazon, on the other hand, doesn’t have anywhere near that pressure. Its vast retail empire can fund whatever losses it might need to take, and the online shopping giant has shown for years that it’s okay with sinking its profits into expanding its business tentacles.

That’s one of the perennial challenges for any company battling Amazon, and Blue Apron’s not the only one doing so in the meal kit space. Dozens of venture-backed startups like Hello Fresh which is said to be eyeing an imminent IPO in Germany and Chef’d are also vying for this particular market, but their numbers are thinning. Slice Intelligence analyst Ken Cassar expects that about half of these companies will die off sooner rather than later.

But these companies are ultimately small fish in a sea where Amazon’s the shark.

Read more: http://mashable.com/2017/06/30/blue-apron-ipo-amazon-threat/

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Five stand out moments of Love Island so far – BBC News

Image copyright ITV

Whether you’re out for a cuppa with your mum, in a Whatsapp chat group with your mates or glued to Twitter, there are two words dominating many conversations this summer: Love Island.

The ITV2 reality TV show has grown a dedicated following with audience figures showing around 2.1 million tuning in to watch each episode.

For those who haven’t seen it before, the show throws 13 singletons into a villa where they couple up in the hope a blossoming romance develops.

The public usually has the pick of who stays on the Love Island with the winning couple receiving a 50,000 prize.

Fans will know that if you get hooked then it is a major commitment in your life, with the show on every night of the week – including a weekly-round up of the best bits.

As Love Island reaches the half-way point of this series, here’s a catch-up on some of the stand out moments so far.

1. The feminism row

Image copyright ITV

What started out as a conversation about who pays on a date turned into a hot debate that ended a relationship before it had barely started.

By episode nine, contestant Camilla had been cracking on (that’s Love Island code for flirting) with fellow islander Jonny and thought that they might have something special.

But then came the subject of feminism.

Speaking in the kitchen, Camilla argued that everyone who believes in equality should be a feminist and questioned whether her potential partner felt the same.

Jonny argued that “real feminists” believe in a “slope towards them, rather than towards men” and said “women almost have more opportunities”.

Cue lots of tears from Camilla and then an awkward chat between the pair where they decided they were too different to form a lasting romance.

It sparked a big debate on Twitter about whether Camilla could class herself as a feminist while appearing on a TV show where the female contestants had to twerk to bag a date.

@LaceyvabderHarg wrote: “Feminism is having the choice to do what you want. Camilla (and the others) want to do it, so they can and it’s their choice.”

While Leanne Brady said: “Camilla, not sure the twerking & lap dance were showing a good example of feminism.”

2. ‘Muggy Mike’

Image copyright ITV

In what is a classic love triangle, contestant Olivia had to choose between two men, Mike and Chris, who were both vying for her affection.

It created one of the best one liners of the show when Chris branded his love rival “Muggy Mike” for choosing Olivia to couple up with.

Twitter was impressed and the phrase end up trending on the social media site.

Image copyright @ryanhxtre/Twitter
Image copyright @cjralph_44/Twitter
Image copyright @AirForce_Carl/Twitter
Image copyright @DJ_Beaver/Twitter

3. Did they, or didn’t they?

Image copyright ITV

That was the question on everyone’s lips following a shock double elimination.

Let’s set the scene. Dom and Jess had been coupled up from the beginning of the show and believed they were a “power couple”.

But she was dumped from the island, alongside fellow contestant Mike, and insisted to Dom she would be “on the outside waiting” for him when he left.

Then came media headlines that Mike and Jess had spent the night together after being eliminated which was coupled with a cosy shot of them posing together on Instagram.

Meanwhile inside the villa, Dom was pining for Jess and indicating he would remain faithful to her during the remainder of the show.

Fans will have quickly discovered that rumours from the outside world have a habit of being revealed inside the villa.

In what was one of the most awkward moments of the series so far, it came down to contestant Marcel to break the news to his housemate that his love interest may have set her sights elsewhere.

A sun cream bottle was thrown, doors were slammed and the word “bruv” was used a lot.

4. Camilla’s heartbreak

Image copyright ITV

Tissues at the ready. Episode 21 was an emotional rollercoaster for many fans who have grown to love contestant Camilla.

After a rocky start, Jonny and Camilla decided to rekindle their romance after putting their differences aside when it came to their feminism views. (Yep – a lot can change in a week).

There were plenty of shy glances and late-night kissing, with viewers desperately hoping that nice-girl Camilla had finally found “the one”.

Then new girl Tyla walks in.

Ever the lady, Camilla gives her blessing for Jonny to pursue his new romance and he does just that – snogging Tyla a few minutes later.

While she may be the forgiving type, viewers definitely are not.

Laura Eagles wrote on Twitter: “I wonder if Jonny realises he’s on par with Theresa May as one of the most disliked people in Britain right now.”

Allana Hoggard said: “Camilla is a beautiful educated humanitaran bomb disposal expert and Jonny is a waste of space. Get him off my telly pronto”

Even last year’s Love Island contestants waded into the drama.

Image copyright @kadymcdermottx/Twitter
Image copyright @ab_bowen07/Twitter

5. The twist

Image copyright ITV

With the show expected to last seven weeks, producers have thrown in a huge curveball to keep the drama hot and the viewers hooked.

In a Love Island first, the contestants’ relationships will face their “ultimate test” when 11 new faces and a brand new villa are unveiled in Thursday’s episode.

Expect more muggy behaviour, more tears and lots more hilarious Twitter reaction for weeks to come.

Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-40441927

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The Eero Beacon is the perfect addition to its family of mesh WiFi products

Since launching two years ago, wireless networking startup Eero has sought to make it easier for consumers to blanket their homes in strong WiFi. With the itsnewest hardware products, Eero took a step forward in that goal, in part by introducing Beacons that can be placed nearly anywhere in a persons house or apartment.

Same Great Setup

Theres not much really to say about the ease of setting up a new Eero system. Out of the box it only takes a few minutes to install the Eero app, connect a base router to your cable modem and get a network up and running. The company has taken what used to be a laborious process and made it drop-dead simple.

Once your first unit is up and running, adding another Eero or Beacon is as simple as pushing a button, plugging it into an outlet, and letting the app find and set up that next device. You can just repeat that process for as many units as it takes to coat your entire home in streaming fast WiFi.

Eero claims that its second-generation base units are twice as strong as the initial units they manufactured. Without doing any serious benchmarking, I found that there was only a nominal increase in strength throughout my home.

But the advantage of having Eero in your home comes from setting up a mesh network of devices to extend the reach of your WiFi. And on that front, Eero still excels. In the year-plus since it launched, Eero remains a great solution for anyone looking to set up a home-wide WiFi network.

So the question is, how do you take a product that is nearly perfect and make it even better? For Eero, the answer is to make your WiFi system even more flexible and to provide ways to put its WiFi routers in more places. Hence, the introduction of the Eero Beacon.

A Router In My Bathroom

Eero routers were always designed to look like a natural addition to their surroundings, to not seem out of place sitting on a bookshelf or on a coffee table in the corner of the room. But Eeros Beacons take that to the next level, by removing the cord and enabling users to plug them into non-obvious places like kitchens and hallways.

I was skeptical about how much I would like the Eero Beacon. That is, until I actually set one up in a place I would have never thought of placing a WiFi router my bathroom.

I live in an apartment that has a typical railroad layout, with a series of rooms connected by one long hallway that runs the length of the building. To provide WiFi coverage throughout, I placed my cable modem and WiFi router in an office roughly in the center of the apartment.

Before I first installed the first-gen Eero system in my home, we would have inconsistent coverage in the very front bedroom of the apartment and in the very back, which just happens to be my kitchen. After installing a three-Eero system a year ago, I got better coverage in both areas, but still felt the connection between the middle and back of the apartment wasnt as strong as I would like.

Yes, thats a WiFi router in my bathroom

The reason for this was pretty easy to diagnose: in between the office and the kitchen were two bathrooms and another bedroom. That means four walls between the middle and back of the apartment in an older building serving to weaken the wireless signal.

With the Eero Beacon, the solution to my problem is obvious. While the bathroom wouldnt usually be an obvious place to put a wireless router, the combination of size and form factor makes the Beacon seem like an oversized night light.

For that matter, I put the second test unit Beacon in my kitchen, where it fits right in while plugged into an outlet next to the stove. Its useful in boosting my WiFi in a room that would typically get pretty weak signal in the back of the apartment.

An App That Does Almost Everything

Once youve set up an Eero system in your home, you might never have to open the companys app ever again. But if you do, youll find it has pretty advanced diagnostics for keeping tabs on all the Eero devices in your home and all the devices connected to your network.

The app allows you to see the strength of connection that each device has, as well as which Eero router it is connected to. Users can set up profiles for people using the WiFi and the devices they have connected to the network.

By doing so, app users can pause connection for related devices or family members, or create scheduled pauses in network availability. That would allow parents, for instance, to restrict Internet usage by their children late at night or to easily take away access for misbehavior. (I really cant think of anything more cruel, TBH.)

Most importantly, the app provides incredible transparency and granular control of the network, while also making administration simple for the common user.

Still A Strong Buy

With the addition of a stronger base wireless router and the addition of its Beacons, Eero is an even better option for consumers looking to improve connectivity in their homes. While it might not be the cheapest WiFi networking system available (prices below), the ease of setup and flexibility in network management provide good reasons for anyone looking to upgrade their network to check out its products.

  • Home WiFi System (1 Eero + 1 Eero Beacon): $299
  • Home WiFi System (1 Eero + 2 Eero Beacons): $399
  • Pro WiFi System (3 Eeros): $499

And as a happy Eero user already, I can say that the addition of its Beacon makes a pretty awesome family of products even better.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2017/06/28/eero-beacon-review/

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These 10 American Foods Have Had Us All Fooled

In a country as young as the United States of America and built by so many immigrants, its hard to claim any food as being our own. Sure, some of our favorite foods were talking burgers, hot dogs and doughnuts feel quintessentially American, but that doesnt mean that they originated in the land of the free and the home of the brave.

We can take claim for the invention of the unicorn latte, because that was born in a Brooklyn cafe just this year, but do we really want to? And where many other beloved American foods are concerned, weve been falsely staking a claim.

Heres a list of 10 foods we often think of as being created by people from the U.S., but actually have their roots in faraway places:

  • 1 Hamburgers — Germany
    krystiannawrocki via Getty Images

    The hamburger’s un-Americanness is evident in its name. The origin of this food is mostly credited to Hamburg, Germany — get it? — but of course, it’s in America where the hamburger really took off.

  • 2 Doughnuts — The Netherlands
    LauriPatterson via Getty Images

    Doughnuts and coffee are a beloved American breakfast treat, but the doughnut got its start across the ocean in the Netherlands. The Dutch introduced their olykoeks — which translates to oily cakes — to New York City back when it was still called New Amsterdam. And the rest is glazed history.

  • 3 Hot Dogs — Germany and Austria
    Tatyana_Mu via Getty Images

    If you look closely at the names of hot dogs — frankfurters and Vienna sausage — you’ll see where these sausages gained their popularity: Frankfurt, Germany and Vienna, Austria, of course. It is commonly believed, however, that Americans added the bun (therefore making it great).

  • 4 Ketchup — China
    Ryuhei Shindo via Getty Images

    Yep, ketchup is Chinese in origin and it actually started off as fish sauce. British soldiers had a taste of it when overseas and began exporting it back home. It wasn’t until the 19th century when people began adding tomatoes. Eventually the anchovies were taken out of the adopted recipe and ketchup as we know it was born.

  • 5 Pickles — Mesopotamia
    bigacis via Getty Images

    Pickles have been around for thousands of years. Even Cleopatra was rumored to love them. They are, after all, a means to preserve food during a time of bounty for months of the year when there is less bounty. Of course, Americans have come to love them on burgers, served on the side of sandwiches, and cut up into relish on hot dogs, but that doesn’t mean that we’re the only ones who adore them.

  • 6 Fried Chicken — China, Middle East and West Africa
    chokmoso via Getty Images

    Fried chicken is beloved all around the world. That’s evident in the number of countries it’s thought to have originated from. The cooking method was first invented to soften up old hens that no longer laid eggs. This method involved first frying it and then braising it for a long period of time. But it has since evolved into one of the best meals in the world, one that is made with tender hens and a proper crisp coating.

  • 7 Apple Pie — England
    diane39 via Getty Images

    England is credited with the origin of sweet pies, even apple. The first recorded recipe was written there in 1381. Of course, this apple pie recipe — which also called for raisins, saffron and pear — is very different from what we know and love in America today.

  • 8 Mustard — Romans
    YelenaYemchuk via Getty Images

    While the Egyptians revered the mustard seed, it’s believed that the Romans were the first ones to grind them into a paste. Thank goodness for that, because hot dogs just wouldn’t be the same without it

  • 9 Peanut Butter — Aztecs
    Glow Cuisine via Getty Images

    Of all the foods on this list, none feel quite as American as peanut butter. Most of us grew up on this stuff. But alas, peanut butter was enjoyed by the Aztecs before us. The manufacturing process and the machinery used to make it can be credited to multiple peoples — mostly Americans, but one also Canadians.

  • 10 Budweiser — Germans
    Brian McEntire via Getty Images

    Budweiser — the quintessential American beer — may have been first brewed in the states, but it was done so by German immigrants. And those immigrants used a German style of brewing to produce the lager, which is so popular today. 

Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/american-foods_us_5953b426e4b02734df2eef30

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Kitchen Appliances

Kitchen Appliances From Amazon

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5 Star Review On The Steel Lemon Manual Press

iHomeInnovations Manual Lemon Press Gets 5 Stars

I’m very pleased with my new lemon squeezer. It is made so well. I’m sure it’ll last a lifetime! And it works great! I’ve used it for limes and lemons so far and am really impressed. It fits and feels very comfortable in my hand and while it’s heavier than the one I had, it seems to require less pressure and stress on my hand to use it. I’d highly recommend it to anyone looking for a hand held juicer. Also, the customer service was like no other I have received. Shortly after receiving my juicer, I got a very nice email from the company owner that included a PDF recipe book. I’ve already made the Margarita Cake (for my own 60th birthday) and served it to our guests and it was a huge hit!

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Best Lemon Squeezer Review Video

Video Review Of Best Lemon Squeezer Review Practices & Uses

Check out this video on the best lemon squeezer review and practices to maximize your results with this iHomeInnovations kitchen tool.

EXTRACTS ALL THE JUICE – Because there are no silicone manages to slip around and prevent the deals with from coming together, you get a better grip and you extract as much fresh juice as possible from the fruit. The hinge pin is incredibly strong for maximum take advantage of.

QUALITY FOR YOUR KITCHEN – Unlike numerous comparable items, this item has heavy duty handles that do not flex, will not enable water in and are constructed from strong materials so there is no flexing or bending when using it. The holes are designed to permit maximum flow and to not enable any seeds to come through, permitting you to enjoy all the flavor and minimize your prep time.
100 % SATISFACTION GUARANTEED – This manual juice extractor gadget is built to last. If you are not satisfied, just return for a full refund. We’ve also consisted of a BONUS lemon mister for spritzing salads and other lemon meals. Watch the video instruction tutorial for reference as well.

To get a your iHomeInnovations lemon press kitchen tool, CLICK HERE.

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5 Star Review On The Steel Lemon Manual Press

Steel Lemon Manual Press Review

“I purchased this Steel Lemon Manual Press because I had a large number of limes to squeeze. Some were key limes, smaller than golf balls and they do not work as well even though I did score the rind as suggested by the manufacturer. This is a very nice juicer and it does work well with larger lemons and limes.”

Thanks for this review Georgia, your feedback means a lot to us.

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Perfect Cooking Tips For Doing A Shared Dinner

Never ever Ever Worry A Potluck Dinner Again: Perfect Cooking Tips

Amongst the greatest functions of food preparation, is that whether you are not so excellent at it or a food preparation virtuoso, you could benefit from recipes and also great food preparation suggestions. Anyone could adhere to a meal as well as apply ideas. Whether you believe you’re an outstanding cook or if you assume that you cannot prepare whatsoever, right here are a couple of food preparation concepts you could utilize today.

When preparing a dish or treat, you must make use of nonstick food preparation spray. The nonstick food preparation spray maintains food from sticking to a frying pan without including unnecessary fats as well as calories. There are some sprays that are experienced, to make sure that you could obtain the very same preference as if you had actually used butter.

To illuminate meals that need sour lotion or mayo, replacement ordinary Greek yogurt for fifty percent of the creamy energetic component. This thick, abundant variation of yogurt has great deals of healthy protein and also is normally non-fat, so you could job calories without altering the abundant appearance of your salad clothing or various other recipe.

A women eggplant’s seeds have a possibility to be a lot more bitter compared to those of a male eggplant. You could recognize a male eggplant by its base – it will certainly be smooth as well as rounded, whereas the women base is a lot more oblong in form and also deeply indented.

When you are preparing a recipe that needs it to be sauteed, include oil around the sides of the frying pan instead compared to straight on the food. This supplies the oil an opportunity to heat up prior to it gets to the cooking food that continues to be in the facility of the frying pan. Read the recipe totally prior to you start any type of cooking undertaking!

Spend lavishly a small amount on a better of olive oil compared to you generally acquire. A little dash of an excellent olive oil could in fact boost the tastes of some foods like meat, fish, pasta, pizza and also some cheeses. You could additionally utilize it in place of butter when you prepare pasta or mushrooms, and also you will certainly have a much healthier dish.

It is essential to period all the meats you are going to be cooking uniformly. Splash the flavor gently over the meat like it was snowing down.

You eat daily of your life, so you could make use of cooking capacities daily of your life. Utilize these ideas to enhance your food preparation abilities as well as place your personal spin on them, making daily consuming an enjoyment.

Among the very best features of food preparation, is that whether you are not so superb at it or a food preparation virtuoso, you could take advantage of dishes as well as amazing food preparation guidelines. Whether you think you’re a superb cook or if you think that you could not prepare whatsoever, below are a number of food preparation ideas you could use today.

When preparing a dish or reward, you should use nonstick food preparation spray. You consume everyday of your life, so you could make use of food preparation abilities everyday of your life. Use these tips to improve your food preparation capacities as well as place your personal spin on them, making daily consuming an enjoyment.

Amongst the really ideal attributes of food preparation, is that whether you are not so great at it or a food preparation virtuoso, you could take benefit of meals as well as wonderful food preparation suggestions. Whether you believe you’re a superb cook or if you assume that you cannot prepare at all, right here are a couple of food preparation concepts you could utilize today.

You ought to make use of nonstick food preparation spray when preparing a dish or treat. Read the recipe totally prior to you start any type of cooking undertaking! You need to use nonstick food preparation spray when preparing a dish or reward.

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry’s standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum.

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