Entrepreneurs rocked the house last night at Stamford’s historic Palace Theatre. The Shark Tank-style pitch competition featured Connecticut-based entrepreneurs and startups. Kudos to these creative minds that help power our State’s backbone of business innovation.
The event was sponsored and facilitated by CTNext, a core driver and resource provider of Connecticut’s innovation ecosystem. Find out more here: www.CTNext.com
Read his opinions about Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, YouTube, Google+, Reddit — and more. I learned a bunch. I bet you might, too.
Click here to check out the article. Enjoy.
Graphic courtesy of Andrew Watts / medium.com
Are you a startup? Few-person company? Or even a solo entrepreneur with the next big idea to change the world? Then take TWO MINUTES to visit and join “Launch EZ” — www.LaunchEZ.com — and get free access to business resources, mentors, funders / investors, and much more.
It was created by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs. Persons — like you — who know, first hand, startup hurdles and challenges. They also know the types of resources that increase the chances of business success.
Find out more. Visit www.LaunchEZ.com. Click on the “join” link. Be part of the statewide tide of entrepreneurs who are lifting everyone to success!
Excerpts from The Guardian’s review:
Google’s new version of its tablet and smartphone operating system “Lollipop” is the fifth version of Android, introducing new features and tweaks that collectively give the user the feeling that quite a lot has been improved. Unveiled as “L” at Google’s developer conference I/O in June to replace Android 4.4 “KitKat, Android 5 Lollipop was revealed alongside Google’s new design ethos called “Material”.
Smooth Sliding: For Lollipop that means the use of much brighter, fuller colours than the previous version of Android and a more consistent look. Menu bars are one solid block of colour, icons are highly stylised and flat, while interface “cards” first introduced with Google Now are used throughout, floating and sliding over the top of each other adding depth. Every bit of the interface looks different, including the background which now changes colour depending on the time of day in some apps, and some slick new sliding animations which add motion to many of Android’s responses.
Beyond the obvious colourful difference, Lollipop introduces a couple of important features into the core Android experience.
The first is multiple user accounts on one device. Some Android tablets have had support for more than one user, but smartphones and other devices have been limited to a single user account.
Multitasking has also been enhanced with a new card system. Each app can show more than one card allowing users to switch to an open message or back to the inbox, for example – not just to one view in the app.
Longer Battery Life: Lollipop also promises to help prolong smartphone and tablet battery life by being more efficient and tougher on battery-draining apps. It uses a new version of the underlying software called Art that powers apps, which is both faster and lighter on resources.
A pre-release version of Lollipop installed on a Nexus 5 smartphone made the battery last around a quarter longer, with others finding even longer gains of over 35% or two hours in tests. Users should see their smartphones and tablets lasting significantly longer after being updated
For the complete article, please click here.
Image courtesy of Google
Buzz and I are part of a growing team of advisors, astronauts, aerospace companies, universities, and energized students of the Time Capsule To Mars project that is designed to send your “selfies” to Mars for 99 cents each. (Yes, you read that right!)
To be working with Buzz Aldrin — one of my childhood heroes — is a tremendous experience. The student-led Time Capsule To Mars project combines my passion for student enterprise and new frontiers in aerospace. If you’d like more info, check out www.TimeCapsuleToMars.com
(National Geographic) “Until now, no single simulation was able to reproduce the universe on both large and small scales simultaneously,” Mark Vogelsberger of MIT and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who led the simulation team, says in a statement. Using a computer program, the team grew the virtual galaxies in simulated time, starting from 12 million years after the big bang (which kicked off about 13.8 billion years ago), they report in a study released this week by the journal Nature.
For the complete article, please visit here.
The magic combination is Motorola’s MY MOTOSPEAK version 3.0.57 (a free download from the Google Play Store, updated January 13, 2014) and the Motorola H730 headset.
Bluetooth voice dialing with a locked screen has been a major topic on Android forums. A reliable solution has been elusive. The latest release of MY MOTOSPEAK + the Motorola H730 headset seems to do the trick.
A great fringe benefit is that MY MOTOSPEAK also does voice to text messages. I’ve been really impressed with the translation accuracy. It also supports dozens of punctuation symbols and many popular emoticons.
Of course, I can’t absolutely guarantee that this combination will work for you. But after eight months of trying various headsets and software options, this combination works reliably for me.
Hope this helps. Feel free to spread the word!
My company is a proud supporter of the international student team that’s planning to build and fly a small spacecraft to Mars. On board would be a two-inch-diameter titanium “time capsule of humanity” containing perhaps millions of digital photos, videos, audio files, and text messages from people all over the world — including you.
Your digital creations would be stored on new “quartz” media that, by some estimates, will survive on the surface of Mars for up to 300 million years.
This would be the world’s first interplanetary space mission led by a non-government team. Other key mission supporters include MIT and Explore Mars, Inc. Details of the mission can be viewed at this link.
While the students are working on the essential science, they are also looking for creative names for both the spacecraft and the Mars “time capsule” lander. The goal is to unleash the world’s creativity in every aspect of the program. The individuals who submit the chosen names will get special digital allocations in the time capsule’s quartz memory, as well as other unique tributes. To submit your name ideas, visit www.TimeCapuleToMars.com.
Starting November 11th, your reviews of restaurants, hotels, shops, songs, and products — and your image — could show up in ads when searched on Google. It’s called Google’s Shared Endorsements. The image in this post is an example.
If you are uncomfortable with this exposure, there’s an easy way to opt out of Google’s Shared Endorsements:
Log into your Google account (for most people, your Gmail account). Then come back to this post and click on http://plus.google.com/settings/endorsements. In the page that comes up, scroll to the bottom and UNCHECK the box next to the phrase: “Based upon my activity, Google may show my name and profile photo in shared endorsements that appear in ads.” Then press the SAVE button. That’s it!
For more information regarding Google’s Shared Endorsements in ads, click here for some more information from ABC News / The Associated Press.
(Bloomberg) Google Inc., which develops the Android software used on mobile devices, has purchased smartwatch designer WIMM Labs, stepping up efforts against competitors in the wearable-computing market.
Google, which didn’t provide details on the acquisition, completed the deal in 2012, the company said in an e-mailed statement. WIMM Labs, based in Los Altos, California, had unveiled a smartwatch design in 2011 that included a full-color touch screen, Internet access and sensors for tracking the owner’s motions, the company said.
Google, owner of the world’s largest search engine, is ramping up in wearable computing to woo consumers in the emerging industry. The purchase comes as new smartwatch devices are on tap from rivals Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear, a wristwatch-like device with features of a smartphone, will be introduced Sept. 4, people with knowledge of the matter have said.
For the complete article, click here.
(PC World) Google’s Chrome Web browser for iOS devices has been updated to include several enhanced features, including data compression designed to speed up page loading. The update also builds in interoperability with other Google apps, giving users the option to open links for YouTube, Maps, Google+ and Google Drive in the app instead of in the browser. In the update, there are also voice search enhancements to provide text-to-speech for all variations of English, Spanish, German and several other languages. Users can also now access their full browser history to view a list of websites the person has visited while using Chrome in standard mode. For the complete article, click here.
(Bloomberg) Samsung Electronics Co. fired the first of three smartphone salvos this year aimed at hurting Apple Inc in its home market, releasing a bigger and faster Galaxy S4 that reviewers said may only glance its target. The device announced yesterday at New York’s Radio City Music Hall is lighter than predecessor S3 and has software to track movement of the eyes and waves of the hands. The Galaxy S4 will be able to take photos in two directions, monitor sleeping habits and translate commands into different languages as the South Korean company tries to lure customers in a slowing global smartphone market. The handset, with a 5-inch screen and 13-megapixel camera, goes on sale in the U.S. on April 26 with carriers including AT&T Inc (T)., Verizon Wireless, Sprint Nextel Corp. and T-Mobile USA Inc. The Galaxy S4 is among three high-end smartphones Samsung is releasing this year after being overtaken in the U.S. by the iPhone 5 in the fourth quarter. For the complete article, click here. Image courtesy of Bloomberg
(CNN) “MakerBot [has] unveiled a desktop device that can scan small three-dimensional objects. Called a MakerBot Digitizer, it’s meant to complement the company’s Replicator printer by letting customers scan objects, then feed the resulting digital files to the Replicator to be printed. The Digitizer uses two lasers and a webcam to scan objects up to about 8 inches in diameter…. The process takes less than three minutes. Once the digital scan is completed, an object can be printed right away. It’s easier and faster than using software to design a digital printing model from scratch.” For the complete report, visit this link. Image courtesy MakerBot
According to DigitalTrends.com: “The Google Glass Explorer Edition has successfully passed through the FCC, revealing more details about the device and increasing the possibility that it will soon be in the hands of the limited number of folks who dropped $1,500 for it. The fancy, futuristic eyewear was announced and demonstrated during the Google I/O even in 2012, and attendees were given the chance to reserve a unit for themselves. ” For the complete article, click here.
The BlackBerry Z10 and Q10 won’t reach store shelves in the U.S. until March or April. That leaves plenty of time to weigh the pros and cons of the smartphone platform before taking that crucial leap to adopt it. Here’s a look at some of the strengths and weaknesses of the new platform from the company formerly known as RIM, as compared to rival operating systems from Apple, Google, and Microsoft.
If you’re coming from Android, you’re going to lose device choice. True, the Z10 and Q10 offer a small selection, but Android wins hands-down when it comes to the variety of form factors. Android devices are big and small, cheap and expensive, rugged and high class. You’re going to lose access to apps.
You’re also going to lose access to Google’s services. Yes, BB10 supports Gmail and Google Contacts and Calendar, but that’s it. No Google+, no Google Maps, no Google Drive, no Google Docs, no Google Voice, no Google Search / Google Now. Some Google services, such as Talk and YouTube, have been ported thanks to BlackBerry, but the vast majority aren’t there. If your business has “gone Google,” switching to BB10 simply doesn’t make sense.
If you’re coming from iOS, you’re losing access to 800,000 apps. BlackBerry World has about 70,000, many of which are ported Android apps. The selection just isn’t there, yet. You’re also losing access to many of the same Google services that are available to Android. You’re losing access to an incredible array of accessories. Devices such as the iPhone have more accessories available than any other device on the market. Being so new, BB10 does not yet have such accessories, and there’s no telling if, or when, it will catch up.
If you’re coming from Windows Phone, you’ll lose some device choice and access to apps, too. Windows Phone 8, which launched during the fourth quarter of 2012, is available from many U.S. carriers in a wide variety of devices, colors and price points. You’ll lose tight integration with other Windows equipment and services, including XBox gaming. The app story isn’t as severe as it is with Apple and Google, but there are plenty of marquee apps missing from BlackBerry World that are available in the Windows Phone Store (Amazon, CNN and eBay, to name a few).
For the full article, click here.
“Entrepreneurship is how America became great,” Case said. “The good news is that we’re still the most entrepreneurial nation in the world. The bad news is that all the other countries are trying to catch us.”
Case was speaking in Detroit at Techonomy on Entrepreneurship and American Relevance.There are two types of founders, Case said: those who create an interesting product or service but have modest ambitions…and those who are trying to change the world, who are swinging for the fences.
Those who are swinging for the fences are continuing the grand American tradition of entrepreneurship, he suggested, continuing the legacy of legendary Detroit founders and leaders such as Henry Ford.
Case sees what’s happening now as the next revolution in technology. After the agricultural revolution, the industrial revolution, and the initial stages of the digital revolution, we’re now seeing perhaps the most important part of the digital revolution: the impact of digital technology on all aspects of the economy.
Even heroes, of course, need loyal sidekicks. That’s why Case accepted the role of chairman of the Startup America Partnership, which is focused on building up all the regions of the U.S.
Not just social media companies — not just Facebooks and Instagrams — but also companies that use technology intelligently in transportation, in manufacturing, in all aspects of the economy.
“In some ways, every company is now a technology company,” Case said. The most important thing for entrepreneurial heroes, according to Case?“They really have to have passion.”
Image credits: Blastr, John Koetsier
Checking one’s voice mail seems to be considered an even a bigger chore than leaving a voice message. Retrieved voice mail fell 14% among Vonage users in the same period.
“They hate the whole voice-mail introduction, prompts, having to listen to them in chronological order,” says Michael Tempora, senior vice president of product management at Vonage. One response by the company to the trend is a new voice-mail transcription service that converts voice messages for delivery as e-mail or text.
The service also e-mails a direct link to the voice-mail audio file, letting users bypass several steps to listen to it. “Voice transcription isn’t perfect,” Tempora says. “But they understand who called and what the message is about.”
The transcription tools make skimming through messages easier for on-the-go users such as Dmitri Leonov, an executive at SaneBox, a maker of e-mail inbox management software. “E-mail (etiquette) says to respect your friends’ time,” says Leonov, who rarely listens to messages. “And I should stop leaving voice mail, as well. Practice what you preach.”
Dropbox is a popular cloud storage service used by millions of users. Dropbox has had some issues regarding data security, though, and passwords alone have also proven to be an Achilles heel when it comes to protecting online data.
Phishing attacks and many malware variants are designed to trick users into sharing sensitive information like passwords, or surreptitiously capturing them without the user’s knowledge. You should have a cross-device security platform in place to detect and block such attacks, but two-factor authentication provides even stronger security that can be so easily compromised.
The rumor mill is buzzing with the possibility of the iPhone 5 launching in September or October of this year. As most of my readers know, I’m partial to the Android platform. But the iPhone does have some intriguing features, including Siri.
If you’d like to get the latest scoop on the iPhone 5, check out the article at Touch Reviews here.
Image courtesy of Touch Reviews
InformationWeek wrote an excellent review of 10 lesser-known Android apps — like Glympse and Car Locator — that are both fun and helpful. Check out the list of 10 great apps at http://bit.ly/wIRUIT. Enjoy!
Image courtesy of InformationWeek.
Washington legislators may have finally lost their minds. Two bills winding their way through Congress — the House’s “Stop Online Piracy Act” (aka, SOPA) and the Senate’s “Protect IP Act of 2011” (aka, Protect IP) — could gut the very foundation of the Internet.
But don’t just take my word for it. The same conclusion is represented by three distinguished law professors from Stanford, Elon, and Temple universities in their jointly published essay, “Don’t Break the Internet.”
Here are a couple of snippets from the authors’ essay:
“The procedures outlined in both bills fail [a] fundamental constitutional test. Websites can be ‘completely removed from circulation’ — rendered unreachable by, and invisible to, Internet users in the United States and abroad — immediately upon application by the government, without any reasonable opportunity for the owner or operator of the website in question to be heard or to present evidence on his or her own behalf. This falls far short of what the Constitution requires before speech can be eliminated from public circulation.”
“As serious as these infirmities are, SOPA, the House’s bill, builds upon them, enlarges them, and makes them worse. Under SOPA, IP rights holders can proceed vigilante-style against allegedly offending sites, without any court hearing or any judicial intervention or oversight whatsoever.”
In the noise of all of the other political gyrations in Washington, legislation that could undermine the foundation of the Internet could squeak through. I urge you to review the entire legal analysis at this link. If you’re equally concerned, you may want to consider contacting your Congressional representatives.
Image courtesy Stanford Law Review.
How would you like to raise up to $2 million for your startup business? And do it by letting investors “point-n-click” the cash your way via the Web? It may soon be nearly that simple, thanks to the “Entrepreneur Access to Capital Act” (more commonly known as the “Crowdfunding Act”) that passed the House in an overwhelming (and bi-partisan!) 407 to 17 vote. President Obama is another driving force behind the legislation, which is designed to dramatically streamline fund-raising for entrepreneurs.
After the bill passes the Senate (and all indications are that it will), and President Obama signs the legislation into law, entrepreneurs will be able to turn on a grassroots method to raise capital — equity sales online — with greatly reduced SEC restrictions. The freer flow of money would be rocket fuel for startups, which are an essential engine for a robust economy and job creation.
“Crowdfunding” — a way for masses of people (“the crowd”) to feed ventures with capital via the Web — has blossomed in recent years thanks to sites like Kickstarter.com. But SEC “red tape” (primarily the Securities Act of 1933) has prohibited these sites from directly offering investment shares in the enterprises. The new Crowdfunding Act will remove this barrier. No longer will equity sales be restricted to accredited investors. And the power of public-supported funding will be unleashed.
Entrepreneurial endeavors will be able to sell up to $2 million in ownership shares to an unlimited number of investors. And individuals will be able to invest up to $10,000 or up to 10% of his or her annual income, whichever is less.
If a company seeks the maximum $2 million in funding, it must supply “the crowd” with audited financial statements. A company can choose to bypass the audited-financial-statement requirement — but then the maximum capital it can raise is $1 million. (That’s nothing to sneeze at!)
When the President signs the legislation into law, it will be a great day for all entrepreneurs. Just as important for America, the ensuing new businesses will provide a shot of adrenaline for the economy and help rev up the job-creation engine. Everyone will win.
Has your cell phone’s autocorrect feature ever made a really screwy suggestion for the word you intended to type? Worse, have you accidentally sent the text with the nutty word, only to then have an OMG moment — wishing you could take it back?
The editors of “Damn You Auto Correct” have compiled what they believe are the 50 funniest messed-up text messages, as determined by Facebook shares, tweets, comments, and pageviews. Check out the LOL selection of text messages here: http://bit.ly/vxU90b
“Carrier IQ is a piece of software installed on millions of mobile phones that logs everything their users do, from what websites they browse to what their text messages say.
“No, it’s not part of some great Orwellian plot; it’s a diagnostic tool that carriers say plays a crucial role in helping them assess and troubleshoot their networks. But the recording app, which flew under the radar for years until security researchers drew attention to it recently, is setting off red-alert privacy and security alarms.
“It’s also spotlighting how little customers — and, sometimes, the carriers and manufacturers themselves — know about what goes on under the hood of their data-stuffed mobile devices.”
For the full article, including a link to an insightful YouTube video, visit http://cnnmon.ie/ruPxSh
Image courtesy John F. Coughlin / CNNMoney
You’re essentially looking over my shoulder as I write, think, create, invent, and — in general — ponder the world around us. Feel free to peruse my writings and chime in as you’re so inspired. I encourage spirited debate.
This is a specially crafted multi-pronged conduit. Everything I type feeds parallel simultaneous streams to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and my e-mail broadcast system. It’s a global tightrope without a net. Oh, my.
No topic is off limits. If you’re looking for a site that is “politically correct,” you’ve come to the wrong place. Hit the back button on your browser now.
Lots and lots of new features are coming online. They’re all in various stages of development. You’ll soon see innovative things I’m working on — such as a live, streaming, two-way “TV channel” of sorts where you’ll be able to interact with me (audio, video, text) in real time as I type here in front of my computer.
This is my platform to push the boundaries of technology in every dimension.
Hang on tight. We may achieve orbit. Or we may sail off a cliff. But the ride will be exhilarating.