Stories for Feb. 16, 2014
Stories for Feb. 15, 2014

Upcoming Events

movie poster for Her

In the movie Her, a man has a romantic relationship with his intuitive, artificial-intelligence-powered operating system. Although some of the technology in the film is merely years away, we’ll likely be able to reap the benefits without risking having our hearts broken by an OS. Read more »

Weekend Plans

This week on menu: Madame Sex, Money Ball comes to Basketball, Kiev Crisis, Software Backdoors and Bounty Hunters, Mexican Drug Cartels and their supply chain is open for business, Click Fraud and of course, Endless Love. Read more »

Stories for Feb. 14, 2014
In Brief

Chuck Hull of 3D Systems invented the first-ever 3D printer in the early 1980s. The first thing he printed? A tiny cup that could serve as an eye wash, according to a CNN interview. The printer worked similarly to its descendants today: a laser seals together particles of material to build an object layer by layer.

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In Brief

Pinterest mobile for iOS and Android both received updates today — the most noteworthy of which is the ability to view GIFs on both iPhone and Android smartphones. According to the company’s engineering blog, the feature allows users to pin GIFs directly, which will show up in feeds with a small play button. GIFs can then be played via mobile, shared and repinned across platforms. The iPad version was also updated, including support for place pins.

On The Web

Sharing on social media doesn’t actually mean a user has read a piece of content, The Verge reports, citing findings from real-time analytics site Chartbeat. Chartbeat says its data shows no correlation between sharing and reading — fair reasoning behind Upworthy’s decision to value an engagement metric called “Attention Minutes” over both pageviews and shares. But all is not completely lost: data from Upworthy shows that likelihood of sharing is best if a user reads an article or watches a video all the way to the end.

On The Web

For $20 a month, startup pharmacy PillPack will deliver your drug prescriptions by mail. The service relies on a team of robots that dispense and inspect packets filled with patients’ daily doses. The packets are designed to make it simple for patients to keep track of if they have taken their pills.

In Brief

Uber has hired Jeff Holden, until recently a vice president at Groupon, to become its chief product officer. We got to know ex-Amazonian Holden when he launched Pelago, makers of Whrrl. The app failed to get major traction because it was ahead of its time and was acquired by Groupon. Holden, however impressed us deeply then with his clear insights about the market. At Groupon too he continued that streak. It is a great hire for Uber, which could use direction and focus as it builds out the last-mile mobility infrastructure. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a more hyper-personal version of Uber come to market in the near future.

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In this Gigaom Research webinar, our panelists will discuss this new generation of scale-out SQL databases, where they are being deployed in the real world and where they fit alongside other technologies like NoSQL and in-memory databases. We will also discuss the transition to real-time analytics and how scale-out SQL databases address real-time use cases. Read more »

On The Web

Oracle CEO and yachtsman Larry Ellison made a splash when he bought Lanaii (or 98 percent of it anyway) for a reported $500 million in 2012. Now the new Love Lanaii web site gives us a glimpse of what he’ll do with it. Plans include the Lanaii International Film Festival slated for next year — handy for a guy with two children in the movie biz. Also on tap: a “sustainable leadership retreat.”

In Brief

AT&T is dropping the price of Samsung’s Galaxy Gear smartwatch by $100 when bundled with a qualifying phone purchase. The watch is now $199 with a Galaxy Note 3, Galaxy S4, Galaxy S4 Active and/or Galaxy Mega handset. AT&T is also letting customers “complete” the bundle if they already purchased one of these phones but didn’t add a Galaxy Gear at time of purchase. At AT&T-owned retail stores, a salesperson can verify the prior phone purchase and you can walk out with a Galaxy Gear smartwatch for $199.

In Brief

New York hip hop trio De La Soul is making its entire back catalog of music free to download. According to Rolling Stone, all the group’s albums will be free to download for a period of 25 hours, starting Friday at 8AM PT until Saturday at 9AM, from its official website. The group is doing this to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its classic debut 3 Feet High and Rising. And this is actually your best bet for a getting a digital copy of the group’s work, since many of the samples used in its music have prevented a number of albums from being sold through iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

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