Stories for Apr. 7, 2014
In Brief

Sporting goods company Wilson is working with a Finnish startup called SportIQ to create a basketball that uses sensors and artificial intelligence to determine how far the ball traveled and whether the shot was made. It’s not the first application of sensors and algorithms into sports gear — we already have them in football helmets, soccer balls and basketball nets, for example — but the Wilson basketball is pretty unique in that it seems to target individual consumers, meaning anyone with the ball, a hoop and a web connection can start quantifying their game.

In Brief

This weekend, Uber’s New York City Twitter account teased a special announcement for Tuesday, and now the company has shed some light: it will offer a courier service called UberRUSH in Manhattan. Uber General Manager Josh Mohrer told CNBC that Uber users can use the app to deliver packages within an hour, like an on-demand courier service. It’s not the first time the startup has dabbled in delivery — it’s served everything from Christmas trees to kittens in a variety of cities — but it could be the beginning a move to open up the service to benefit bikers as well as drivers.

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On The Web

Fast Company published a lengthy and detailed article on the downfall of electric car infrastructure startup Better Place. The piece is filled with insights like “Shai math,” which employees and investors called the funky math that founder and former CEO Shai Agassi employed in running the business and in interviews with the media (like us!). It’s a tale of supremely chugging one’s own Kool-Aid. I did one of the last public interviews with Agassi in early 2013 on Better Place.

Better Place Israel

In Brief

HTC’s new flagship phone, the HTC One M8, may be launching just in time. The company continues to struggle financially, posting another quarterly loss on Monday according to Bloomberg. For the first quarter of the year, the Tawian-based HTC reported a loss of was NT$1.88 billion (US $62M), which follows a small after-tax profit of NT$0.31 million in the prior quarter based on a net operating loss of NT$42.9 billion. HTC looks to have a potential hit in the new HTC One M8 but the prior model also gained positive reviews.

Stories for Apr. 6, 2014
Stories for Apr. 5, 2014

Weekend Plans

Zebras, bucks, deer, chimpanzees and cows — it is the Animal Planet edition of what to read this weekend. And they are all thought-provoking stories. Happy reading! Read more »

Stories for Apr. 4, 2014
In Brief

Citus Data, a startup focused on turning PostgreSQL into a scale-out analytic engine, has developed a developed a columnar data store for the popular open source database. The company is open sourcing its extension for single-node environments, although it’s offering a distributed version as part of its CitusDB software. Citus already supported interactive SQL queries over Postgres (on which its technology is based), Hadoop and MongoDB, but columnar stores are faster for certain types of queries. Also, the compression features of the ORC file format that CitusDB uses can cut disk space by more than half.

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