Getting in the ‘Tank’
If the chances of a new business succeeding are two in five, the chances of getting your new business on ABC’s hit business show “Shark Tank” are a handful in 24,000.
That’s how many entrepreneurs applied to get on the show in the last year, producers say. And that was before “Shark” broke out of the Friday night wasteland of low-rated programming.
Can an Algorithm Write a Better News Story Than a Human Reporter?
Had Narrative Science — a company that trains computers to write news stories—created this piece, it probably would not mention that the company’s Chicago headquarters lie only a long baseball toss from the Tribune newspaper building. Nor would it dwell on the fact that this potentially job-killing technology was incubated in part at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. Those ironies are obvious to a human. But not to a computer.
Like a help desk for life: Wizpert puts you in touch with experts instantly
You can find the answer to plenty of questions online, but sometimes it’s helpful to chat with a particularly knowledgeable human. New York City-based Wizpert aims to simplify the process of finding and chatting with experts instantly — and in the process, the startup is moving one step ahead of hot Q&A outfits like Quora.
You can think of Wizpert as an IT help desk for life. The company recruits knowledgeable bloggers, which it calls “Wizperts,” across topics like exercise, health/wellness, and parenting. Advice seekers can connect to Wizperts via their blogs or the service’s website, and most importantly, they can begin a conservation within seconds.
Think GPS is cool? IPS will blow your mind
For all of their awesome applications — from portable navigation devices, to self-driving cars, to cruise missile targeting — the American Global Positioning System and its Russian cohort GLONASS have two fundamental flaws: They don’t work indoors, and they only really operate in two dimensions.
Now, these limitations are fair enough; we’re talking about an extremely weak signal that has traveled 20,200km (12,600mi), after all. Passing through concrete and other solid obstacles is hard enough for a strong, short-range cellular signal — you can’t seriously expect a 50-watt signal traveling 12,000 miles to do the same. Detecting a GPS signal on Earth is comparable to detecting the light from a 25-watt bulb from 10,000 miles.
China Escalates Crackdown On Internet Amid Scandal
China has stepped up its campaign to clamp down on the Internet, which has emerged as a virtual town square for exchanging information about the Bo Xilai scandal and the nation’s biggest political upheaval in years.
The popular Twitter-like microblogging service Sina Weibo on Tuesday deleted the accounts of several users, including that of Li Delin, a senior editor of the Chinese business magazine Capital Week, whose March 19 post helped fuel rumors of a coup in Beijing. The service announced the move to many of its more than 300 million user accounts, thereby turning it into a public lesson in the consequences of rumor mongering.
Google Launches Update Targeting Webspam In Search Results
Google has announced that it is releasing a new search algorithm that it hopes will better catch people who spam its search results or purposely do things to rank better that are against Google’s publishers guidelines. Going live today, Google says it will impact about 3% of search queries.
Apple’s Huge Quarter in Charts
Apple posted another monster quarter, just as some were starting to doubt it.
Again, Apple’s most impressive statistic is its overall sales growth: With more than $39 billion in revenue last quarter, Apple’s sales grew 59% year-over-year, far faster than its peers.
Sundar Pichai: Google Drive Is About Context, Where Competitors Are About Files
In advance of the release of Google Drive, I sat down yesterday with Google SVP of Chrome and Apps Sundar Pichai and Google Drive product head Scott Johnston. I asked them to elaborate on how Google Drive emerged from within Google, how the product compares to the competition, and where they see it evolving.
What’s ironic is that Pichai was the guy who helped kill a previous product called Google Drive, or GDrive, as detailed in Steven Levy’s “In the Plex”:
Cispa cybersecurity bill opposed by Obama administration
A senior State Department official has stressed the Obama administration’s opposition to a controversial cybersecurity bill ahead of a vote in the House of Representatives later this week.
The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (Cispa) is intended to facilitate sharing of information on online threats across different federal agencies and private companies. It has been criticised by both activists and politicians of both Democrats and Republicans for vague wording and insufficient safeguards.