Monday, December 26, 2016

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Watch this smartphone-assisted robot beat the pants off of humans in air hockey

Dec 26, 6:08PM

img_6134 It’s the holidays and that means its time to watch robots cream humans in bouts of skill. The latest example of robotics winning over a meatbag? This amazing air-hockey robot powered by a smartphone, and Arduino board, and a plotter-like robotic arm. The system works by watching the puck on the surface of the table and moving to where the puck is going. It actively blocks attacks on its… Read More

Oculus engineer Dov Katz arrested in sting after allegedly soliciting sex from a 15-year-old girl

Dec 26, 5:24PM

screen-shot-2016-12-26-at-12-20-47-pm Seattle Police arrested Oculus’ Head of Computer Vision Dov Katz on December 23rd in a sting operation in which a police officer posed as a 15-year-old girl. Katz allegedly arrived at an Embassy Suites in Tukwila, Washington with $600 after agreeing in texts messages to pay $300 for sex without a condom. Katz told police he was there to rescue the girl. GeekWire has screenshots from… Read More

40 female founders who crushed it in 2016

Dec 26, 5:02PM

women The stats are nowhere near where women need or deserve them to be, but when it comes to female founders receiving venture funding, we’re beginning to see a significant shift — maybe even a kind of tipping point. Not only was it comparatively easy this year to find female founders who continue to run their companies (in the past, many more have assumed other positions within… Read More

How to grow your app

Dec 26, 5:00PM

grow-app The app ecosystem is strong and growing. By 2020, App Store consumer spend is supposed to exceed 100 billion dollars. Mobile now represents 65 percent of digital media time; 86 percent of this time on phones is spent in apps. Building a mobile app is building the most frequently used digital property type on the most frequently used digital device. Sounds like a solid place to start a business. Read More

WTF is a liquidation preference?

Dec 26, 4:00AM

liquidation-preference You may have experienced a chill as the words fell upon your ears, too. There’s a non-medical reason for this: liquidation preferences are created to ensure that investors get paid before anyone at a startup when the company either sells or else goes out of business. In short, they’re good for investors and less good for founders, employees, or even earlier… Read More

Privacy is still alive and kicking in the digital age

Dec 26, 1:00AM

Photo: Getty Images/Jasper James/Stone Our lives are lived in data. Data crossing borders and connected in virtual space. Most often, it appears, we live in open and too easily accessible data networks. States and corporations are watching us through data, and we are watching each other through data. What does individual privacy mean in this data saturated environment? Read More

The drought is over… a torrent of tech IPOs is expected in 2017

Dec 25, 9:00PM

New York, United States of America - November 18, 2016: Facade of the Stock Exchange building on Wall Street (Photo: olli0815/iStock) We’ve just witnessed one of the most surprising tech IPO markets in decades. Wall Street set record upon record throughout 2016, and tech stocks led the way, hitting all-time highs. And yet, we saw a mere 13 IPOs for venture-backed U.S. technology companies during the entire year. I’ve been in this industry for more than 40 years and I can’t remember anything like it. Read More

Will technology prevent the next food shortage crisis?

Dec 25, 5:00PM

Field of corn growing in Kentucky (Photo: Getty Images/Universal Images Group) According to scientists, the answer to an impending food shortage might be found in a new age of digital technologies that have proven their worth in different fields and have the potential to transform agriculture and food production and meet the consumption needs of the growing human population before we’re driven to eat cockroaches — or worse, each other. Read More

Snapchat has quietly acquired an Israeli startup for a reported $30 million to $40 million

Dec 25, 2:26PM

screen-shot-2016-12-25-at-9-24-58-am Snapchat sewed up its first acquisition in Israel this week, according to the outlet Calcalist News. It acquired four-year-old Cimagine, whose augmented reality platform lets consumers instantly visualize products they want to buy in their intended location, paying what Calcalist says was between $30 million and $40 million. According to its LinkedIn page, Cimagine currently works with brands… Read More

Dear Air Canada: a systems analysis of a comically colossal cascading failure

Dec 25, 2:00PM

air-canada I’ll be blunt; I’m here to vent my fury. On your behalf, dear reader! Honest. When a corporation gets things terribly wrong, those of us with platforms need to turn our wrath upon them. It’s the only feedback that actually matters. But there’s a larger issue here: the way that poisonously rigid corporate software, when it meets reality, can cause whole companies to… Read More

Italian incubator H-Farm prepares for a new crop with a campus slated to open in 2018

Dec 25, 3:30AM

27041314611_5c000d2ffc_o There’s a farm outside of Venice, Italy, that cultivates tech talent the way that other farms grow crops. Read More

Technology and today's vast and immensely underserved mental health population

Dec 25, 2:00AM

Photo: Getty Images/g-stockstudio/iStock Someone in your life is suffering from a mental disorder right now. You may not know it, but it’s there. Indeed, one in five adults suffers from a mental disorder. Society has trained us to believe mental illness is something to be ashamed of, so a majority of the afflicted hide it and go untreated. I’d like to say we’re becoming more accepting as a society, but … Read More

After having its infrastructure shuttered, CyanogenMod will live on as Lineage

Dec 24, 11:41PM

cyanogenmod-2 The days leading up to the holiday have been a real roller coaster ride for Cyanogen fans. Yesterday, Cyanogen Inc. unceremoniously pulled the plug on its support for CyanogenOS in a short post declaring that “all services and Cyanogen-supported nightly builds will be discontinued” by the year’s end. In a post today titled “A Fork in the Road,” the team behind… Read More

The broken edtech ecosystem investors once avoided is changing

Dec 24, 10:00PM

Photo: Getty Images/Klaus Vedfelt/Taxi Previously considered risky investments, it’s true that many edtech startups — commonly founded by “teacherpreneurs” hell bent on mending education through tech innovation — either tank or fail to achieve true scale. Why is this the case, when basic reasoning leads us to believe there is no other professional better placed to address the issues facing education… Read More

Tim Curry will read you 'A Christmas Carol' from your Amazon Echo

Dec 24, 9:23PM

Amazon Echo Dot It’s the time of year when we find ourselves together with our loved ones, gathered around the warming seasonal glow of our smart-home devices. And for those who managed to snag an Echo before the device sold out seemingly everywhere, Amazon’s got a fun little Easter egg (nog). >From now until Jan. 3, 2017, Alexa customers can listen to a holiday classic for free. #JustAsk… Read More

Fitbit ends one Jawbone patent case seeking to block device import

Dec 24, 7:42PM

jawbone-vs-fitbit It’s a minor holiday miracle. Wearable device leaders Fitbit and Jawbone have been locked in a prolonged legal battle for well over a year, and yesterday Fitbit dropped one of the key pursuits against its fellow fitness manufacturer, dropping a patent violation complaint filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission. Fitbit cited Jawbone’s recent financial woes as part of… Read More

The reality of VR/AR trial

Dec 24, 6:00PM

snap spectacles If you haven’t heard about VR/AR by now, your desert island must not have Wi-Fi. But there are millions of folks who know about VR/AR who haven’t seen it yet. User trial is on the critical path for VR/AR to go mass market. So what are the lessons from previous digital platforms about moving mass consumers from awareness to trial? Read More

Dutch regulators order T-Mobile to stop offering free music streaming over net neutrality concerns

Dec 24, 5:27PM

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR T-MOBILE - T-Mobile CEO John Legere introduces Binge On during the Un-carrier X press conference at the Shrine Auditorium on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, in Los Angeles. Binge On allows T-Mobile customers to stream video for free without using their LTE data. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/AP Images for T-Mobile) T-Mobile’s no-data-charge-music-streaming-thing has been going strong since 2014 here in the States, with the company adding services to the offering one by one. The Netherlands version of the promotion ran into significant headwinds this week, however, as regulators at the Dutch Consumer and Markets (AFM) officially ordered the carrier to stop offering the “zero rating”… Read More

Withings products disappear from Apple stores following Nokia patent kerfuffle

Dec 24, 4:37PM

screen-shot-2016-12-24-at-11-28-03-am As most of us were gearing up for a relatively quiet holiday season, Apple and Nokia were getting ready to go to battle, reigniting a war that had seemingly gone cold in 2011 with a reported $720 million settlement for the use of a number of patents. Earlier this week, Apple filed suit in California, alleging that Nokia removed certain patents from the deal for the purpose of… Read More

Here's how to track Santa on Christmas Eve

Dec 24, 4:14PM

santatracker2016 As per tradition, Google’s Santa Tracker is live today across Android, Google Maps and, helping parents and children alike track Santa’s journey from the North Pole as he begins to deliver Christmas presents all over the world. iOS users can also keep an eye on Santa using the Google Maps app on their iPhone or iPad, plus Santa’s journey can be streamed to your… Read More

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