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    Predicting irrational shoppers: Commerce Sciences applies behavioral economics to ecommerce

    Behavioral economics, as its well-known proponent Dan Ariely describes it, “is interested in the same questions as classical economics, but without assuming that people are rational.” The field came to popular attention in the past decade from the bestselling “Freakonomics” books (er, empire), Ariely’s and Daniel Kahneman’s fascinating work, and from other behavioral economists identifying sources of the financial crisis that…

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    Conduit Launches New Browser That Might Someday Be Great

    Call it Zynga Anxiety: A thrilled yet disquieting sense that you’ve built a billion-dollar web business that’s almost entirely dependent upon another company’s platform. For browser toolbar provider Conduit, the audacious self-prescribed cure was to develop its own platform – its own damn browser – in an effort to hoist itself up a notch on the software stack. Today, Conduit’s U Browser went into a…

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    How Waze Can Beat Apple and Google at Realtime Maps

    For a startup just gaining serious traction, it’s your basic nightmare: Apple, Google, or Facebook decides to enter your space. Those first few million users you earned through blood, sweat, and tears will surely be swept up with the masses on the giant’s platform, and once the big guy throws its dev resources at the problem your app addresses, what chance does your tiny, overworked team…

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    Better Place, Tesla, and the Mainstreaming of Electric Cars

    This spring, two greentech venture capitalists took delivery of their long-awaited fully electric cars. Both men are convinced their slick new rides augur a cleaner future for all human transportation. But both can’t be right. Steve Jurvetson clutched his key to the first production $98,000 Model S Signature in June before cheering throngs at Tesla’s Fremont, California factory. While video of Jurvetson’s maiden voyage coursed…

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    Sign Mom Up For Dropbox (or Start a Support Biz) With the New Soluto

    There are Techies, and then there are Normals. You, dear PandoDaily reader, are almost certainly a Techie, which doesn’t necessarily mean you fork repos on GitHub. Hear of Instagram before Facebook bought it? Techie. Friends turn your way for digital help, and you’re kind of stunned they didn’t already know how to do that? Techie. Soluto, a darling of the Israeli startup scene since…

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    TransferWise Closes $1.3M Seed Funding to Streamline Forex Payments

    Forex payments are a complete racket. If you need to wire money to someone in another region and currency, you typically have to suffer two blows from your bank, delivered like two cheek slaps: whap! a lame exchange rate well below their interbank rate, then backhand whap! a hefty processing fee. Together these usually reach 3-5% of the transfer sum. Large institutions also suffer from banks’…

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    Conduit, Israel’s First Billion Dollar Internet Company

    So now it’s official… Israel has its first billion dollar Internet startup. And remarkably, it’s still controlled by founders and employees. The Israeli press today reports that JP Morgan acquired a $100 million stake in Conduit at a $1.3 billion valuation. JPM bought remaining shares held by early Conduit investor Yozma, completing Yozma’s exit from Conduit following its recent sale of $39 million of…

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    Saul Klein and the Holistic, Sexy Israeli Startup

    When I sat down with Index Ventures partner Saul Klein on the porch of a Tel Aviv cafe on Sunday, the late winter Mediterranean sun shone so intensely that I could barely see him, squinting across the table. We ducked inside to a covered spot and Klein quipped, “There it is, Israel’s light onto the nations.”

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    BillGuard Launching New Platform to Make Settling Card Disputes Easier

    For the sake of all that’s right and good in the world, BillGuard should become wildly successful. The service alerts credit and debit card holders to fraudulent and deceptive charges, smoking out the bad guys through crowdsourced flagging and some novel big data science. And today, it’s unveiling a new platform to make settling those disputes even easier.