Tech That Protects The President: Image Analysis

“Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see,” Edgar Allan Poe wrote in his 1845 masterpiece “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Almost 170 years later, imaging software with artificial intelligence capabilities is making it easier to believe all of what a camera sees. (Part 2 of a 3-part series on technology employed by White House…

Tech That Protects The President, Part 1: Data Mining

President Obama’s appearance at the Democratic National Convention in September took place amid a rat’s nest of perils. But the local Charlotte, North Carolina, police weren’t entirely on their own. They were aided by a sophisticated data mining system that helped them identify threats and react to them quickly. (Part 1 of a 3-part series about the…

Do Personal Analytics Make Google Less Creepy?

We’re beginning to wake up to what free Web services do with our data. Google has been the main driver of this story in 2012, launching its new privacy policy that binds up each user’s data for ad targeting across all Google services. People react viscerally against this. But what’s really in our data that’s so valuable?

The Benefits and Pitfalls of ESPN’s new Developer Center

What do you do when you have a treasure trove of valuable data that developers would love to get their hands on? Release an API and let them create applications for you. That is precisely what sports network ESPN did today by announcing its Developer Center replete with multiple APIs for programmers. Developers can tap into ESPN’s reservoir of data…

The Benefits and Pitfalls of ESPN’s new Developer Center

What do you do when you have a treasure trove of valuable data that developers would love to get their hands on? Release an API and let them create applications for you. That is precisely what sports network ESPN did today by announcing its Developer Center replete with multiple APIs for programmers. Developers can tap […]

How We’re Going to Fix Online Identity and Reputation

Last week, I had the great fortune of attending the Hypothes.is Reputation Workshop. Hypothes.is aims to build nothing less than a peer review layer for the whole Internet. It’s a mind-boggling idea when you let it sink in. The technical challenges are formidable, and the cultural ones are even bigger. Nevertheless, the excitement around the…

Delicious Founder Creates New People Search Engine, Skills.to

Joshua Schachter and his team of star developers at TastyLabs have begun work on a second project, an endorsement and people search engine called Skills.to. The site lets you endorse people for their skills in various fields, see what the people you know have been endorsed for and search for people with particular skills.

The site is just…

Can OpenGeocoder Fill the Platform Gap Left by Google Maps?

How do machines understand what place you’re talking about when you say the name of a city, a street or a neighborhood? With geocoding technology, that’s how. Every location-based service available uses a geocoder to translate the name of a place into a location on a map. But there isn’t a really good, big, stable, public domain geocoder…

How Two Startups Use Games to Beat the Developer Crunch

“You can’t judge if someone is one of the best programmers in the country in 1 minute, but it turns out you can in 5 minutes.”

Good software developers are hard to find. Startups are all about finding creative solutions to common problems – so why not this one too?

Two startups that have found creative and interesting ways to solve their…

Pixar Engineers Leave to Build Real World Living Toys

Teddy Ruxpin, meet Siri. Imagine a children’s toy designed by the people behind the Toy Story and Finding Nemo movies but connected to the web and chock full of artificial intelligence. Then add in visual tracking, speech recognition and massive network scalability. It appears that’s what San Francisco startup ToyTalk is building, based on conversations […]

Data Privacy: What Bill Gates Said 10 Years Ago

Today is International Data Privacy Day, an event backed by companies like Intel, Ebay, Facebook and Microsoft, and dedicated to educating data owners about best practices in protecting the privacy of consumer data.

The need to keep people from being exploited on account of violations of their privacy is clear, well-known, intuitive and amply…

Why Facebook’s Data Sharing Matters

Facebook has cut a deal with political website Politico that allows the independent site machine-access to Facebook users’ messages, both public and private, when a Republican Presidential candidate is mentioned by name. The data is being collected and analyzed for sentiment by Facebook’s data team, then delivered to Politico to serve as the basis of […]

Automatic File Conversions and More with Dropbox Automator

Computers keep getting closer and closer to making people obsolete. The latest step towards human obsolescence? Dropbox Automator, a Web-based tool for setting up actions that happen as soon as you put a file in a Dropbox folder. It’s not flawless just yet, but it might provide a useful service for many Dropbox users.

The service is powered…

After Years of Missteps, Facebook’s Timeline is an Epic Win

Facebook’s new Timeline profile feature is great, even if it is a little strange. It’s narcissistic, but that’s a big part of the fun of it, and I’m not sure that other peoples’ timelines are nearly as interesting as mine is to me.

It’s an incredibly feature-rich new type of social network profile. It’s a re-imagination of what a profile can be…

Engag.io: A Tool to Track All Your Conversations Online in One Place

Social media is supposed to be all about engagement and authenticity, but sometimes it can feel so distributed and overwhelming that conversations get lost. A new web app called Engag.io has tackled this classic problem and offers a pretty good solution that I think you’ll want to check out. It’s in private alpha right now but we’ve got an invite…

Easy-to-Use Mashup Tool ifttt Gets Betaworks Backing

Point and click web mashup startup ifttt (“if this then that”) has raised financing from cutting-edge tech incubator Betaworks. News of the funding came to us via NeuVC’s bot watching the firm’s portfolio page, which is fitting given the nature of the startup.

ifttt allows anyone to set up a chain of conditional actions between a wide variety…