May 2013

  1. Seed funding is like playing the lottery, so SoftBank is all about the Series A with its new $51 million NYC-focused fund

    Jordy Levy thinks the business of Seed-stage investing is a horrible way to make a living. "You might as well buy lotto tickets," he says, quickly adding a caveat -- "That's just my opinion, and I don't think others share it."

    By Erin Griffith , written on

    From the News desk

  2. Stop making excuses for people

    Outside of this column, my primary job is to screen out clowns and jackasses, so the people who attend my events don’t have to deal with them. As such, I have to pay close attention to what people say, how they say it, what they do, and the assumptions they make. It’s not that complicated really; keep your word, respect other people’s time, show a touch of humility, and most of all don’t lie to me.

    By Francisco Dao , written on

    From the News desk

  3. Yves Behar on design and the Internet of Things

    Yves Behar is the high-profile designer behind products like the Jawbone Jambox and the Ouya gaming console. Yesterday, he unveiled his new project, August, at the D11 conference to much fanfare – a “smart lock” that lets a you lock and unlock a door with your smartphone.

    By Richard Nieva , written on

    From the News desk

  4. Two copywrongs don't make a copyright

    Corporations are mad as hell, and they’re not going to take it anymore. At least that’s the gist of the recently issued, less-than-mellifluously titled "Report of the Commission on the Theft of American Intellectual Property." Compiled by former Republican presidential hopeful Jon M. Hunstman; Dennis C. Blair, a former Director of National Intelligence and Commander in Chief of the US Pacific Command; and others from the “private sector, public service in national security and foreign affairs, academe, and politics,” the report calls IP theft “one of the most pressing issues of economic and national security facing our country.”

    By Adam L. Penenberg , written on

    From the News desk

  5. To sell connected devices, retailers should emulate Warby Parker

    Shopping online might be convenient, but it's hard to get a feel for a product with nothing more to go on than a few poorly-lit photos, a fresh-from-the-marketing-department product description, and the thumbs-up or thumbs-down of someone calling himself "SatansXLover." You're basically playing a game of Amazon roulette, where the device you decide to purchase can either meet your wildest fantasies or elicit nothing more than a resigned "meh." It's even more challenging to shop for connected devices, which are often equally reliant on their physical and digital aspects.

    By Nathaniel Mott , written on

    From the News desk

  6. Weotta can deliver your ultimate local recommendations, if you'll let it

    It can be creepy to realize how well machines can know us and predicts our wants and needs. But at the same time, it's part of the magical future that we were all promised. As we share more and more data about ourselves and machine learning and predictive analytics continue to improve this omnipotent guardian angel effect will only increase.

    By Michael Carney , written on

    From the News desk

  7. Say what? Duolingo points to data's important role in online education

    When it comes to online education, much of the focus so far has been on online video lectures, peddled by the likes of Udacity, Coursera, and edx, and given the off-putting acronym “MOOC.” But one of the most important innovations from the movement could ultimately be the application of a data-driven approach in the lesson-planning process. And when it comes to that strategy, there’s no more interesting player to watch than Duolingo, a online language teacher that learns from you as you learn from it. Now up to 3 million users and growing at a rate of 15,000 people a day – 75 percent of which come from outside of the US – Pittsburgh-based Duolingo has just taken an important step in expanding its scope even further: launching on Android. Until yesterday, Duolingo was available only through a Web browser and as an iPhone app. Even on those platforms, Duolingo, which is totally free to use, has made significant inroads, finding its way into the top 10 education apps in many countries’ App Stores. But when the company looks back on its early years it may well find that the move to Android was the decisive one. Android, of course, is now the dominant mobile platform worldwide – at least in terms of number of users. But equally as important is that it is also comes on the most affordable devices, meaning Duolingo now has an opportunity to reach lower-income people who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to afford language lessons.

    By Hamish McKenzie , written on

    From the News desk

  8. By Michael Carney , written on

    From the News desk

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